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914 Ingalls Library 

THE CLEVELAND 
MUSEUM OF ART 


Presented by 


J. HOMER WADE 


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THE LACEMAKEES: 




WITH S03IE ACCOUNT OF THE 


EFFORT TO ESTABLISH LACEMAKING IN IKELANJ). 


MRS. MEREDITH. 


** Workj ’workj work, 

In the dull Decombor lights 
And work, work, work, 

When the weather is warm and bnght, 
While underneath the eavee 
The brooding swallowe cling, 

Ab if to show their sunny backs, 

And twit me with their spring/* 

Thomas Hood* 


LONDON: 

JACKSON, WALFORD, AND HODDER, 

27, PATEENOSTER ROW. 

186 5. 


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London i 

Printed by George Wat^orj fi, Kirby Street^ 
Haiton Garden ^ ■ E.C- 


iL. 


THIS ATTEMPT TO 


RECORD THE EFFORTS OF IRISHWOMEN TO HELP THEMSELVES 
IS DEDICATED (BY PERMISSION) TO 

MISS BURDETT COUTTS, 

, WHOSE NOBLE AID IN 

THE TIME OF THEIR CALAMITY IS NOT FORGOTTEN, 

AND 

TO WHOSE JUDGMENT THE WRITER SUBMITS HER 
\ SUGGESTIONS ON 

I 

THE SUBJECT OF PROVIDING INDUSTRIAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE 


FEMALE POOR OF IRELAND. 









To know the Irish poor is to know Ireland. Poyerty 
is the national characteristic. It is the poor that 
constitute the distioguishing element of the country ; 
their spirit rules in its agitationSj and dictates aU its 
claims. They are the seething mass in its economy ; 
they work, and they achieve, too, not fortune, but 
fame I Make an Irishman rich, and you denationa- 
lize him at once, and for eTcr ; you take the heart 
out of him : he is no longer the unadulterated repre- 
sentative of old Erin. To be rich in Ireland, places 
a man outside all Irish sympathy, and above all 
Irish emotion. I cannot make a bidl, and say it 
turns him into an Englishman, but it is : the next 
thing to it ; he becomes Anglo-Irish — a person ex- 
communicated by the real sons of the soil.^^ /5^n7// 


viii 


PREFACE* 


I am satisfied ttiat this is thoroughly inexpK- 
cable to the English mindj and I vrill not attempt 
to unriddle it on philosophical principles* ITothing 
but that acquaintanceship with the social circum- 
stances of Ireland, which the present effort is intendecl 
to promote, can do it* Now, I do not attempt to 
describe, in plain terms, the parties nor the systems 
of which society there consists j neither do I try 
to exhibit their representatiyes in ordinary detail. 
This would but accumulate difficulties, and render 

R 

the subject eyen less capable of comprehension* 
Even to matter-of-fact, prosaic Englishmen, I pre- 
fer preaenting pictorial sketches of the progress 
of such afiairs in that land as I yenture to discuss* 

It is quite obvious that dry statistical statements 
do not inform anybody about Ireland, from the House 
of Commons down to the readers of the penny papers* 
The “ Reports lie before, them definitely set forth, 
but beyond that point they do not go — never passing 
into the mind, and being there assimilated, and turned 
to ^"useful knowledge*” There is some curious want of 

faculty in the Saxon constitution to digest this crude 

* 

mass* England is sick of the suhiect in this form ; 


PREFACE. 


JX 


but rather likes it in another—takes it en bon b&n~to 
crack a joke upouj and sensitize its comic humour. 
It is 'not desirable to see Ireland treated in 
the latter fashion. In truth, there is a melan- 
cholj: note in its gayest chord : the mirth and the 
fun that seem to superficial observers to preponde- 
rate in its people, are hut wild and unreal excite- 
ment gone as quickly as effervescence, and leaving a 
dull remainder of sadness. Their tears are all their 
own, their smites are forced from them. 

It seems absurd to say that there is still popular 
ignorance in England about a place so close to it, the 
facilities for communication with which tend to draw 
it into the most intimate union; but it is the case, 
and this is only an additionl anomaly. The Irish 
cross over the bridge that unites the two countries; 
but their Tisit is not returned. Now, one would have 
thought, that after this step of theirs — this showing 
of themselves — misconception would end ; but it does 
not. In fact, wo do not see how it is to end, since 
the means of increasing information are so limited. 

There are peculiar hounds set to a Icnowledge of 
Ireland, and when any one surmounts them and gets 


X 


PREFACE. 


inside the enclosure, and looks intelligently at the 
interior, instead of spreading abroad the news of his 
discovery, he immediately closes his mouth, or he 
calls others to come and see for themselves. All the 
initiated concur in this ; when they get hold of the 
secret, the impracticability of revelation is their 
strongest impression ; so they leave discussion and 
speculation to the uninformed, and only in excep- 
tional cases venture upon any description. At best, 
few offer to exhibit anything more than hiero- 
glyphics, and these are about as informing as Zad- 
kiel’s. 

Fiction, decidedly, has done more than anything 
else to make known this terra incognita. 

The case of the Irish is not one for logical lan- 
guage. That which can be declared by it should he 
on the platform, where reason explains all pheno- 
mena ; but to this the social history of Ireland has 
not attained : it is still at the stage of Puck and 
the fairies. The mythological era has not yet 
expired there, nor the heroic age passed away 
from that island. While British manners have 
stiffened into solid consistency, Irish nature is lava 


PREFACE. 


XI 


still, and is bursting over, and boiling round the 
volcanic centre of its community. The story-telling 
style of the vernacular is that which is adopted 
in the present compilation, my object being to 
exhibit the scenes detailed in as concrete a form as 
possible. 

In publishing these tales of ‘‘ The Lacemakers,^^ 
every effort is made to deliver conceptions faithfully. 
It may seem, perhaps, an attempt on my part to 
evade criticism, when I impugn the existing degree of 
popular information on the subject of which I treat ; 
but I do so in the most inviting spirit, being anxious 
to induce inquiry into the circumstances mentioned ; 
and feeling certain that if this be done, my assertions 
wdll be fully borne out. “ Seeing is believing,’^ and 
only seeing is of any value in such matters as those 
that are recorded in the following pages. Those who 
have had similar insight to mine will, I am persuaded, 
concur in the views put forth, and will acknowledge 
• that the sketches are ‘‘after the life.^^ This is all 
that I claim for them ; they are nothing more. The 
events they narrate are facts, but the plots are 
fictitious. Names of persons and places are sup- 


PREFACE. 


xii 

pressed ; and the tales are not all supplied from my 
own personal experience^ but were obtained from 
various sources. 

As I withdraw from the closeness of my con- 
nection with the affairs in which I was so long 
absorbed, my interest in my countrywomen deepens. 
While in actual contact with them, I could 
* see little but their minute qualities, and that 
one vrhich I found most singularly interesting, was 
their handicraft. This feature is very distinctly 
marked in some of the races in Ireland, and in the 
hope of bringing one particular manifestation of it 
to perfection, I laboured with my whole powers for 
ten long years. At the end of that time I had 
come to the end of those powers, and I surren- 
dered — not because my theory was baseless and 
my scheme a failure, for they were not; hut 
because ray undertaking was vanquished for lack of 
that which no individual can supply. Enterprise 
was not wanting — capital was not wanting^ — labour, 
was not wanting — demand was not wanting. They 
were all there ; but artistic cultivation was, and this 
the State alone could give. Hitherto, the hope of 


PBEFACE. 


Xlii 


obtaining tbis has been deluded by a series of legis- 
lative blunders, and as yet, the prospect of carrying 
out that which experiment has proved to be feasible 
and advantageous, is only in the future. 

I have written about The Lacemakers’’ be- 
cause they will soon exist only on paper. Their 
occupation is gone. The girls of Ireland have no 
longer this wholesome, genial work to do. They are * 
deprived of it by the natural course of events— that 
relative deterioration which is the result of the ad- 
vance of competitors. Nations not greater but wiser 
than our United Kingdom have beaten us in this field, 
and the ignorance and neglect which have caused this 
defeat injure not only Ireland, but the whole realm. 
There is a world-market calling for articles which 
England is not providing, and morally and pecu- 
niarily she and her dependencies are losers by this 
supineness. 

To any who become sufficiently interested in these 
tales of the Lacemakers to give any attention to 
the information they endeavour to convey, I would 
recommend that they should not close the volume 
without reading the two chapters (reprinted from the 


XIV 


PREFACE. 


Englkhicofnan^ s Journal) which contain an account of 
the needlework movement to which the Irish famine 
gave lise. I have no doubt that those who do so 
will join in the wish that, even in such minute 
details as the industrial instruction of girls, Ireland 
should have more enlightened consideration from 
the legislature, than she has hitherto enjoyed. 


CONTENTS. 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND. 

Page 

Chapter I. — Experiments... Community of interest... Bom to trouble 
...Use of adversity... Thrift... Educated minority... Women's 
energy... Clamour for employment... Ladies’ skill in needlework 
...Commercial abilities... Schools begun... Pupils and wor- 
kers". ..Union.. .Unsectanan spirit... National exhibition at 
Cork.. .Dublin.. .Results.. .Sewed muslin... Cheap labour... 

Novel lace... Competition...** Guipure"...** Point "...The man- 
ner of lace... Benevolent merchants... Transactions... Royal 
garments... Little patter ns... Gratuitous tradeswomen... Small 
employers... Adelaide School... Reduced ladies... Prejudices... 
Social grades...** Hotbed " of crochet... Decline of trade.. .Pat- 
terns and stitches... Workers disadvantaged... Suggestive occu- 
pation... Artistic training... Widow' 8 cruse... Money a snare... 
Domestic service despised.. Clones.. .Perpetuity.. .The Queen’s 
ad vice... Foreign embroidery... Limerick lace... Pillow laces 
attempted... Normal School... Branch schools... Centralizations 1 


NEEDLEWORK V. DOMESTIC SERVICE. 

Chapter II. — Small matters... instincts and idiosyncrasies... Pauper 
women ... Industrial culture ... Exotic qualities ... Working 
« classes of England and Ireland not parallel...** Family 
system "...Supervision ... Personal influence... Can a Board 
choose ?... Differences not inferiorities...** Don’t feel it in their 
bones "...Ill-paid labour.. .Bad servants... Want of resources... 
Durability of demand... Machinery extending slowly... Associa- 
tion of head and hand... Mo notary value...lnfluence on emigra- 
tion... Provincial characteristics... Letter from America... The 
crochet harvest and the-grain crop. ..Rescued family.. .Subdi- 
vision of labour...** Gingleman’s ” daughters... Workhouse in- 
dustry ... National school incompetence ... Resemblances t.. 

J ealousy . . .Government Schools of Design useless to lacemakers 
..Want of inspection. .Want of education. Oumoir... 

Gift of embroidery and all needlework.. Milesian ancestry.. 
Foreign example - -- -- -- -27 


XVI 


CONTENTS, 


Chapter I. 


IS 

II 


II. 

m. 


ji 


IV. 


II V 


Chapter I, 


n 

iJ 


II. 

IIL 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 



"the redeemed estate. 


Pago 

56 

66 

78 

93 

106 


117 

irie 

18S 


MARY DESMOND. 

Chapter I. - - . 205 

,, IL * . . . _ 313 

,, III. - - - - 234 

IV. - 249 

„ V. 270 

„ VL - - - - ^285 

„ VII. - - - - . - - - , - 297 

„ VIIL - - - ^ 313 

„ IX. - - - - 340 

„ X. 354 


APPENDIX 


369 


THE LACEMAKEES, 

ETC, 


im Jrtlaitb. 

CHAPTER I. 

Experiiuoiitfl... Community of interest*.. Bom to trouble... Uso of ad- 
versity lift... Educated miaority...Womcn^s energy... Clamour for 

employment..* Ladies' skill in needle worlt... Commercial abilities... 
Schools begun ... Pupils and ^ ^ workers .Union.. .XT nsectarian spirit 

...National exhibition at Cork... Dublm... Results... Sou-ed muslin*.. 
Cheap labour** .Novel laee. . .Competition. . Guipiu'e ” **, “ Point "... 
The manner of lace... Benevolent merchants...Tmnsactions... Royal 
garments . . .Little patterns. . . Gratuitous trades women. . . Small employ- 
ers. . . Adelaide School . . . Reduced ladies . . . Prejudices . * . Social grades . . , 
“Hotbed" of crochet... Deeiine of trade. .. Patterns and stitches... 
VT orkei's disadvantaged * * . Suggest! ve oceupation . . . Ai-tistic trainin g. . * 
XVidow’e cruse. . .Money a snare. . .Bomeatic service despised. . .Clones*. , 
Perpetuity... The Queen's ad vice... Foreign embroidery... Limerick lace 
...Pillow laces attempted. . .Normal school... Branch Echools... Central ' 
izationa. 

During the last twenty years, a great many experi- 
ments have been undertaken, having for their object 
the relief of poverty in Ireland ; and the women of 
that country have made an amount of exertion on their 
own account, which should not be suffered to sink into 

n 

y 


2 


LACE-MAKI^JG IN 


obscuritj^ as a fact, nor be oTerlooked as evidencej Tvben 
the national conduct and prospects are called in ques- 
tion. The story of this action is as touching and beau- 
tiful as anything that the history of nations presents. 
It is one long tale of struggle— a jsvar against misery, 

in Tvhich every woman^s hand in the land was engaged 

« 

— the delicate touch of the peeress assisting the rough 
fingers of the peasant. Irishwomen of all ranks and 
degrees made common cause of the sufferings that 
arose in consequence of the potato blight. The visi- 
tation, to a certain extent, affected them all, and 
brought them together in a manner that nothing 
else could have done. Intercourse and communica- 
tion of a nature so intimate ensued, that they awoke 
the tenderest sympathies, and numerous movements 
were undertaken to lighten the general burden. These 
had diverse effects : some were utter failures, and 
others hut partially successful, hut, on the whole, the 
social alterations that were achieved have had a good 
and abiding influence. The principles demonstrated 
by them can never again be controverted, nor 
can the proofs that they elicited be set aside by any 
theories. In the connection to which we allude, it 
was not the rich and poor who met ; the parties that 


COMMUNITY OF INTEREST* 


3 


were brought into contact werCj for the time^ alike 
in pecuniary matters, all classes being more or less 
inYolyed ; property was temporarily unavailable, and, 
therefore, interest and kindly feeling were not chiefly 
testified by gifts of sdver or gold* Of these, the upper 
ranks had, in many^cases, literally, none ; hut this 
did not prevent them from putting their resources at 
the command of the needy, and of such as they 
had^^ they gave hountifullj* That which they 
imparted was instruetion* The intelligent and the 
ignorant came face to face, and naade an acquaintance- 
ship, by which the most important results %vere pro- 
duced* In this season of universal distress, charac- 
teristics came out without reserve, and a record of the 
events of the period cannot be without value and in- 
terest, not only to those immediately concerned, hut 
to all who give any attention to the subject of Ire- 
land's difficulties. 

There are some remarkable features in Irish society 
which are very little known outside its boundaries, 
and which, when known, are generally too little taken 
into account* Among those are details which seem to 
indicate that the women of Ireland are indeed born 
to trouble and to hardship, and that they have made 


4 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND. 


exertions to surmount tliem, for which they haTe 
never yet had clue profit nor credit. 

Some sections of the Irish community manifest 
decidedly beneficial effects from the discipline they 
have undergone ; the upper very much more than the 
lower classes. These degrees of improvement are 
in strict aceordanee with the right laws of progres- 
sion/which give the first place to superior mtelligence ; 
and the precedence is, in this ease, very strongly 
marked. What the indnstrial impulse did for intel- 
lectual female circles in Ireland was more than a 
restoration to fortune. It assured them of a resource 
for their needs far above the accidents of transitory 
things, for it drew out their powers, and enabled 
them to test the value of their cultivation. Sweet 
were the uses of this adversity* 

Acquaintance with the circles in which this occurred 
could alone convey an idea of the extent to which the 
problems of domestic economy were daily solved by 
their members. Irishwomen lay no claim to the 
quality called “ thrift "'—they freely yield the palm 
for it to their neighbouring relatives ; hut for discre- 
tion of expense, the educated among them may chal- 
lenge any country. ^ Unhappily, they form a very 


EDUCATED MINORITY. 


5 


small body, in comparison with those that represent, 
to superficial observers, the feminine capabilities of 
the nation. But they are a weighty and an impor- 
tant minority. Ireland has a well-developed female 
power which, without the accessory of wealth, is able 
to maintain status, and to occupy position with effect. 
Its expression is audible, and its strength apparent. 
It is leading the van of modern concern for its sex, 
and seeking to be permitted to assist in its elevation. 
Individually, the members of this body have made 
numerous efforts to promote this object, and it is to 
be regretted that they do not associate and systema- 
tize their schemes. In order to induce them to do so, 
it will be well to look back at some of their actions, 
and endeavour to form an idea of their bearing on 
the country. 

Wlien famine ravaged Ireland in 1847, women 
were found inspired with an energy to work that was 
truly surprising. AVherever there was a female hand, 
it was set in motion, and, generally, it seized a needle, 
and wielded it vigorously for bread. The eagerness 
to obtain means of support was so pressing, that a 
perfect clamour for emplojonent arose. To satisfy 
this, a most remarkable movement took place. Wo- 


6 


LACE- MAKING IN IRELAND. 


men of the upper ranks deYcloped an extraordinary 
skill in needlework j and, also, a great commercial 
aptitude to turn it to a profitable aceoiint. The re- 
pose of aristocratic society, and the leisure of the 
cloister were disturbed. Ladies burst the bonds of 
conventionalisms, and went regularly into business, 
to procure remnnerative occupation for the destitute 
of their own sex. The female children of the poor, 
all over the land, became the subjects of instmeticn 
in the making up of various sorts of articles for sale. 
At first, this was done with a very indefinite pur- 
pose ; but the productions were kindly welcomed, 
and a great demand promoted the industrial effort. 
Then there came systematic attempts to consolidate it : 
schools for embroidery, crochet, knitting, netting, 
tatting, &C.J were established. The Census of 1851 
returned 902 pupils in these; hut these figures 
did not represent the extent of the exertion to diffuse 
the knowledge of needlework. The rapidity with 
which it spread was almost electric ; successive 
multitudes of girls passed through the initiatory 

process, and were soon reckoned as workers,^^ imder 

* 

some of the anxiously active employers. About 
this time, every feminine handicraft was endeavouring 


UNSECTARIAN SPIRIT. 


7 


to assert itself, and the women of Ireland united in a 
grand bond against a common foe. Nor did the 
slightest taint of sectarian jealousy sully the sublime 
charity of the hour, — the voice of natui’e crying out 
in her misery was alone heard and responded to ; 
and in the desire to do good, and to succour a com- 
mon humanity, people were brought together, felt 
together, and acted together, who had been estranged 
all their lives.’^ Thus writes J. F. Maguire, M.P., in 
his Irish Industrial Movement (p. 184) ; and he 
adds (p. 225) : These ladies were all of a different 

religious persuasion from those whom they have 
iissisted to elevate in a moral as well as material 
sense ; and yet they have never in the slightest 
degree attempted or desired to take advantage of the 
singular influence of such a position as theirs, to 
interfere with the religious belief of their pupils, — a 
fact which I deem too much to the credit of the purity 
of their motives not to record.^’ 

At the National Exhibition held in Cork, in 1852, 
a large number of samples of work done by the female 
poor appeared. Thirty-four of the exhibitors were 
ladies, patronesses of schools, and a few were men of 
business who were beginning, about this time, to deal 


8 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND, 


with them for their productions. The following y ear, 
ill Dublin, forty- six schools exhibited, and an in- 
creased number of tradesmen. The goods offered were 
sewed muslin and crochet lace ; the first was an old ac- 
quaintance in the market, the other an entirely new 
creation. The origin of this latter fabric was peculiar, 
and the course of its development interesting. The 
phenomena connected with it, as an experiment in 
industry, are well woilh recalling, and the conside- 
ration of them may he useful^ in promoting other 
schemes for the social improvement of Ireland, The 
operations carried on during the period to which we 
refer, affected the Irish community so considerably, 
that their results are now easily discernible ; but there 
is no definite idea popularly entertained, as to how 
much of the evil or the good of its present condition 
is referable to them. Some account of that which was 
really eTolved by the action of this crisis will assist 
in making- the matter clear, and it is now impera- 
tively called for by the fact, that the most marked 
feature of our day is the discussion of the wants 
of the very class that was then subject to the treat- 
ment of the agencies to which we refer. 

After the Exhibitions, vast numbers of girls 


JCOYEL LACE. 


9 


found emplojTnent in tlie two trades prominontly ex- 
posed* Maiiufactui'ers of sewed muslin took extensiye 
advantage of the cheap labour offered by Irish women, 
and speculated largely in that sort of work. But the 
novel lace entered into competition with it, and 
sensibly raised the standard of wages ; it resisted an 
effoi^ to introduce the manufacture of foreign piUow 
laces. The weekly earnings at crochet ranged from 
65 . to 10 ^. and 155.; they kept up steadily for about 
three years, and attained then highest scale of remu- 
neration in 1857* The early specimens of this lace 
were beautiful pieces of %vorkwomanship, comparable 
to the mediaeval “guipures/^ and ^^old points,'^ of 
continental celebrity ; they were, in fact, imitations 
of them* The attempts to resuscitate their styles, and 
to rival their reputation, were by no means contemp- 
tible. Great aptitude for this revival was displayed* 
The art was easily acquired, the materials were inex- 
pensive, and the market was ready* The employment 
freely propagated itself, and, after the manner of lace, 
showed adherence to habitat, and tenacity of type. 
It settled into several centres, Cork and Clones be- 
coming the most important of them, and these 
maintained their distinctive characteristics most de- 


10 


lace-:maktng in ikeland. 


tcrmmedly* The recognition of the products of the 
tlifferent districts is well established in the trade. 

The foundresses of the schools were the first mer- 
chants of this commodity. Some of them did large 
wholesale business, and others confined themselves to 
private sale. The transactions of the former were 
from £100 to £500 a month, %vith warehouses and 
shops ; and the latter sent away weekly £20 or £30 
worth of work, to friends in more favoured lands to 
dispose of for them. In this way, England, France, 
America, and the colonies received a quantity of the 
production. Crochet lace was, at one period, every- - 
where “ the fashion/^ Sympathy poured in heartily^-: 
and lightened the labours of the charitable* Consumers 
increased and multiplied, and no‘ effort was spared 
to secure their approbation, and to merit their favour ; 
and with such success, that even royalty did not 
disdain to adorn its garments with Irish point.” 
The simple agency by which the wide-gpread trade 
was carried on, was the sending out of little patterns 
by post, accompanied by requests for orders. The 
reply to the hiunhle messages was most cordial; 
men of business especially came forward to ^help the 
enterprise to maturity. By these early customers, 


GRATUITOUS TRADESWOMEN* 


11 


the matter was wisely and kindly taken into con- 
sideration. Every facility was offered to ladies to 
enter into correspondence with thenij and commercial 
arrangements were made easy to their inexperience* 
In this commencement of the trade, before mere 
speculators entered the field, there were men found 
to deal in it with a truer human interest thaij pecu- 
niary proceedings usually engage. The position 
of the unprepared, disinterested, gratuitous trades- 
women was w^ell understood by these men : and they 
assisted them to maintain their difficult undertakings 
in a manner which claims a very grateful acknow- 
ledgment* 

The women who made this exertion did a good 
deed for their sex; they dealt practically with the 
subject of commercial employment for females; 
they tested its difficulties hy personal experience, 
and under cireumstanees which should render 
their example very useful to those who, without early 
training, contemplate similar work This latter class 
was to some extent brought under the influence 
of the laee movement. Many members of it were 
engaged as assistant teachers in the schools, and not 
a few worked side by side with their humbler fellow- 


12 


LACE-MAKINO IN IRET.AND. 


sufferers from the common misfortune. A sys- 
tem was introduced on pui'pose to encourage them 
to become employers on a small scale, and to deal 
directly with the market for their own benefit^ 
and a society was established in Cork for the pm- 
pose of enabling such persons to avail themselves of 
the lace trade. 

Hr. Maguire took notice of this circumstance 
(Irkh Indusirmi p. 222), and says : 

the many schools which have heen^ brought 
under my observation, I do not know any one 
which presents more interesting features than 
the Adelaide School. At its* first commencement 
it differed in no way from the ordinary indus- 
trial school, in which young persons are employed 
during the day ; but since then its whole character 
lias changed, and it may now he described as a cen- 
tral depot for the reception of work and the transac- 
tion of business. It employs young persons of 
limited means, or reduced chcumstances, who are 
now hut too happy to apply their talents to a useful 
and practical purpose, and in most instances with the 
purest of human motives,— the wish to confer even 
modest comforts on relations who have fallen victims 


ADELAIDE SCHOOL. 


13 


to the great calamity of this couiitryj which has 
brought down to the dust so many lofty heads and 
proud names. The number engaged in connexion 
with the Adelaide School amounts to 120. . . . The 
weekly payments are now about £14 a weekj with 
prospect of considerable increase/^ 

This undertaking rapidly extended. No gratuitous 
assistance was offered, and the munher of ladies 
applying for admission to it was yery great. Every 
variety of capacity and qualification was presented 
by the candidates, but the abilities requisite for the 
attainment of the proposed object were rare. The 
educational condition of the class was found peculiarly 
deficient. Superficial accomplishments^" were un- 
avail able in the case, and they were plenty enough ; 
but the knowledge of accounts^ — the power of expres- 
sion in writing, — together with that cultivation of 
intelligence which can alone be accepted as proof of 
right to the title “educated/" were so remarkably 
absent, as to impede the successful introduction of 
artistic information amongst them. 

As the Adelaide School progressed, the failure of its 
pupils from this cause was one of the principal fea- 
tures in its business. The difficulty of inducing 


14 


LACE-MAKlNG IN IRELAND. 


persons to submit to the discipline and training 
necessary for the undertaking was extreme. Pre- 
judice against business life, and the distinctions of 
social grades, stood mightily in their way. Even 
want did not always conquer these obstacles; and the 
numbers who succeeded in securing any advantage 
from it were in great disproportion to those who ap- 
plied for help during its course ; at a rough estimate, 
they were as one to ten, and that at a time when the 
School had business for a far greater number of 
hands than it could obtain. 

In 1857, when the trade began to decline, about 
twenty-two ladies were engaged in connexion with 
the School, and the average wages which they paid 
for labour amounted to more than £100 a week. 
While they held their ground, the character of Cork 
crochet was tolerably well sustained in the market. 
This lace never was of the highest class, although 
Cork was said to be the hot-bed of the work; 
but before the competition for the article became 
so strong, it was approaching something respec- 
table. 

A great many benevolent ladies in the city and 
surrounding districts were promoters of the art. To 


PATTERNS AND STITCHES. 


15 


Lady Deane’s School, and to those of the Blackrock, 
Youghal, and Kinsale convents, as well as to Mrs. 
Meredith’s (the Adelaide School), it was indebted for 
a well-kept-up supply of new patterns and .stitches ; 
and these continued to be provided, as long as the 
establishments were maintained. Local speculators, 
however, contended for the trade, and it had to be 
surrendered to them. 

The Adelaide School was the latest to give up, but 
in 1859 it succumbed to the pressure. Some of its 
pupils continued to produce small quantities of very 
fine goods, and many are still working, but under 
very adverse circumstances. Almost all the hands 
in the whole neighbourhood turned, all at once, to 
the inferior sorts of the lace, and the produc- 
tion of any of the better kinds is now at- 
tended with an expense that absorbs the profits. 
Even at a premium, it is difficult to induce lace 
makers to take the necessary trouble — the habit of 
working carelessly is so confirmed. This ignorant 
line of conduct has, of course, wrought its own injury. 
The material rapidly deteriorated, and the position of 
the worker has become increasingly disadvantageous. 
It is to be feared that, in this generation, the error 


16 


LACE-MAKIXG IN IRELAND. 


into which the lace-makers have been betrayed will 
not be retrieved. The grotesque-looking coarseness of 
the fabric with which the fluctuating demand has 
been supplied, bids fair soon to terminate its own 
existence ; and for want of being properly treated, 
the Irish lace trade threatens to come to an end. 

Irish point, the highest development of crochet 
lace, was a very suggestive production, and there ex- 
isted no reason why it should have been as evanescent 
as the crisis that gave it birth. It was the index 
of a power created to endure, and to become an agent 
in preventing similar piteous catastrophes. The 
difficulties of its culture were not internal, but exter- 
nal. It is peculiarly controllable, and that which 
opposed its management, and rendered it a disorderly, 
troublesome manufacture, was not a quality of the 
work, but of the workers. The first teachers of the 
art were educated ladies, and they had powers which 
could not be imparted by them to their pupils. Ac- 
quaintance with the principles of beauty and grace- 
fulness, familiarity vdth antique laces, and works of 
fine art, do not come with the use of the hooked 
needle ; and it is much to be regretted, that, at an 
early stage, no training in these essentials was pro- 


THE widow’s cruse. 


17 


curable. It was not then recognised, and it is not 
now practically acknowledged, that all such offspring 
of the parent stock of industry demands the foster- 
ing care of the State, that it may arrive at a healthy 
maturity, and increase and strengthen the resources 
of the nation. 

The large number of women that engaged in the 
needlework effort form an important item in the po- 
pulation of the kingdom : 300,000 are sai(J to have 
been employed in sewed-muslin-work, and 20,000 in 
the indigenous lace. These constitute a grand force, 
available for the benefit of the Irish community ; and 
in the hour of necessity it effected a good service, the 
memory of wliich is still warmly cherished. When 
men’s hands were useless, little girls’ fingers, by 
means of tliis lace-work, provided for families ; and 
like the widow’s cruse, the provision failed not while 
the famine lasted. 

I 

But all earthly blessings are liable to the taint 
of our mortal natures, and this was no exception. 
Money became a snare to the ill-trained female 
multitude. An injurious expenditure of it occurred ; 
and the results were apparent in the deteriorated 
morals of the lower classes. This fact is cited 

c 


18 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELANB. 


by some people as an evil attributable to crochet 
work ; and many condemn the industrial movement 
altogether, in consequence of the social inconveni- 
ences they erroneously ascribe to it. One of these 
was the withdrawal of women from domestic Sccupa- 
tions. Increased rates of wages failed to induce them 
to become servants, as long as they could procure 
any sort of a hying by needlework; and a strong 
tendency to neglect the useful application of the art 
of sewing, in the desire to pursue the ornamental, 
prevailed very extensively* It must he confessed 
that these circumstances have produced a very 
marked effect on society* The national characteris- 
tics came out in full force under them, and be- 
trayed a deplorable condition of educational desti- 
tution* The Cork districts especially presented the 
distressing spectacle of increased means without cor- 
responding social elevation; and many evils con- 
tinue to exist there, winch may he fairly regarded 
as I indirectly, the result of the industrial move- 
ment* 

In some parts of Ireland, this lace trade met with 
exceptional circumstances* 

In the county of Monaghan, there is a district into 


CLOTSfES LACEM AKERS. 


19 


wticli it has settled ivitli better and more peiTuaneut 
effect than anywhere else. 

The wife of the rector of the parish of Clones 
taught crochet-inakiog to some little girls, and it soon 
spread oyer the whole neighboiukood* After a timcj 
the number employed in it became so great that it 
assnraed the formidable proportions of a large mer- 
cantile concern. At this stage, Mrs. Hand, the 
foundress of the business, did not desert it, thougli, 
overwhelmed by the extent of the under taldng, she 
was about to do so in 1854. But her lacemakers 
made a brave struggle to retain the direction under 
which they had commenced to work ; and they ad- 
dressed Mrs. Hand on the subject, in an interesting 
letter, which tells the history of the school so com- 
pletely, that we must give it place in our summary 
of the moYement. 

Address to Mrs. Hakd. Mectoty, Olmm* 
Madam, 

We, the undersigned, beg your acceptance of 

the accompanying Piece of Plate as a small token 

of the very sincere respect and gratitude we feel 

% 

towards yon for your imremitting kindness. On 


20 


LACE-MAKJNG IN IRELAKD* 


your coming to Clones^ you found us in % state of 
tlie deepest distress, utterly destitute of any employ- 
mentj unskilled in any art* By your unaided per- 
sonal exertions you introduced, and had us instruc- 
ted in, the manufacture of crochet lace — work 
before then unheard of in this neighbourhood* You 
patiently bore with our ignorance, kindly encoura- 
ged our efforts, liberally rewarded us for our labour, 
and now you have the satisfaction of knowing that 
you have been the means, under God, of enabling 
1500 individuals (at least) in this parish to earn a 
respectable living* Dear madam, we are not skilled 
in writing addresses, but we beg you will accept this 
effort on our part, to evidence in some manner that 
we are conscious of your goodness* We entreat 
you not to retire from the work you have so success- 
fully carried on, though others are engaging in it, 
when all the difficulties attending its estahlishment 
are overcome* We feel assured that we will be 
the losers if you do so* Praying that He who will 
not overlook ^ even a drop of cold water ■ given 
in His name may abundantly reward you, 

“We remain, your obliged and grateful 
workers. 


CLONES LACEMAKERS. 


21 


Signed on behalf of the rest of the workers by a 
good many of the girls*” 

Eeply, 

“ My dbab Feiekbs, 

I have received your kind address with the 
greatest pleasure and satisfactionj conveying me 
your grateful sense of the exertions which God has 
enabled mej successfuUyj to make in your behalf since 
I came to reside among you. * To Him be all the glory 
and all the praise/ To have received such an ex- 
pression of your esteem and gratitude would have 
amply repaid me for all the trouble and anxiety 
which I have hadj and I cannot help feeling sorry 
that you should have thought it necessary to accom- 
pany those exjjressions with so handsome a proof of 
their sincerity. But believe me^ I gladly accept it 
as a token of the warmth of the Irish heart, which, 
unless misdirected, always heats in concert with 
kindl}^ feelings ; and your beautiful and costly 
flower-stand will be a happy emblem, I trust, of our 
continued regard and mutual love to Him who is 
the ^Eose of Sharon and the Lily of the Yalley/ 
I need scarcely add that I shall bequeath it to my 


22 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND. 


children as a memento of my residence among you, 
when I and their latheT shall haye run our course. 
Too true it is, that I found yon in deep distress, 
and am only thankful that God devised means in 
some measure to remove it in this parish, and made 
me the happy instrument in that removah Indeed, 
had it not heen for the sewed muslin work, which 
my and your kind friend Lady Lennard introduced 
some years ago, and the employment I have been 
able to afford, the fearful visitation of famine would 
have heen still more severe and more disastrous. 

“Permit me to add, in answer to your requisi- 
tion, that I shall continue, if health and strength 
be given me, to carry on the work, and I trust that 
you, by increased diligence and attention, will 
feel no difficulty in keeping up the credit of the 
Clones lace, and preventing its falling into disrepute 
among the higher classes, in consequence of competi- 
tion and the production of an inferior style of work, 

“ Praying that the Lord will prosper j^^our handi- 
work, and enable you to derive all the good, and 
as little of the evil which is incident to every 
human undertaking, I remain, your sincere Friend, 


• “ C. Hand/^ 


PERPETUITY, 


23 


In compliance with this request, Mrs, Hand 
retained her position, although it entailed much 
tiresome exertioii of mind and body, and no little 
worry of spirit. Some four or five years after this, 
she was compelled to withdraw, but she induced an 
accomplished lady, who had been trained in the best 
schools of art, to settle in Clones, and to undertake 
the business for her own benefit. The effect of this 
was admirable, Good designs and correctness of 
finish continued to characterize Clones lace long 
after others had lost their celebrity, Tho district is 
still leavened by the skilled instructions of this 
lady, and a standard of merit is kept up. Even 
at its reduced price, the %vork provides a respectable 
livelihood for many women in the locality, and the 
fruits of the steadiness of theirHrade is seen in their 
improved domestic condition,^ Mrs* Hoberts of Kil- 
cuUen, and Mrs. Tottenham of New Eoss, and many 
other ladies, made goods of a very superior sort, w^hich 
were known in the London market by their names. 
Their skill, and that exhibited at Clones, was the re- 
sult of peculiar culture ; and it is only to be deplored 
that it had not the element of perpetuity, since with 


Appendix A. 


24 


LACE-MAKTNG IN IRELAND. 


the individuals disappeared the principles of guidance 
that would have prolonged the trade. 

The sewed muslin manufacture, which was also 
more the subject of a great commercial specula- 
tion, than of a diligent elaboration, is now like- 
wise suffering a severe depression. An address was 
presented to Her Majesty, praying her to aid in 
the restoration of this article to public favour by 
according to it her royal patronage. Like a good 
tradeswoman, the Queen suggested, in her reply, that 
the commodity should be better cultivated ; and 
directed that the best instructions, and the newest 
patterns, should be sent for to France for the pur- 
pose. This is an impressive admission of a national 
deficiency, and on it is chargeable many of our 
industrial disasters. > Foreign embroidery takes the 
lead of all that Irish labour can do, for the same 
reason that her lace is beaten from the field. These 
two employments, so peculiarly suited to the genius 

of Irishwomen, are both now involved in the same 

/ 

predicament. Neither are keeping pace with com- 
mercial progress, although they abundantly pos- 
sess the elements of power. Of the capabilities of 
the crochet lace manufacture to bear consider- 


LIMERICK LACE, 


25 


able extension, no doubt is entertained by those 
who understand the nature of the fabric and its 
possibilities* The highest authority, that of the 
originators of it, goes to affirm that it is re livable 
and revisable, subnussiye to culture, and that its 
fertility of resource is far greater than that of the 
pillow laces, or of Limerick lace, a species of work 
which had almost run its course before crochet had 
begun. 

This latter article never attained any high degree 
of cultivation ; and none of it now is as good as simi- 
lar lace produced elsewhere. It is closely akin to 
embroidery, consisting of “ running/’ tambour- 
ing,” and “ appliqii^’’ on a woven foundation. Like 
all such things, the loom rapidly foUows up its efforts, 
supersedes it easily, and not unfrequently passes it 
by, leaving its best pretensions in the shade. When 
the needlework effort began, some enterprising 
tradesmen made a vigorous attempt to re-establish 
and revive the credit of Limerick lace* Messrs. 
Forest of Dublin opened schools, in which some very 
respectable goods were manufactured ; but they failed 
to produce anything of intrinsic value or staple cha- 


racter. 


26 


LACE-MAKlNG IN IRELAND. 


The introduction of pillow laces into Ireland was a 
movement of considerable importance, and deserves 
special notice. The success that attended the crochet 
experiment induced the belief that these would be 
likely to be equally successful, and some ladies, aided 
by a London merchant (Mr. Goblet of Milk-street), 
tried to procure it a fair share of the popular favour. 
They established a normal school in Dublin" and 
branch schools in various parts of the country, but 
the employment was insufficiently remunerative, 
owing to quite different causes from those that sup- 
pressed the crochet industry. 

These three sorts of lace work, together with em- 
broiderj^ and plain sewing, were zealously taught, 
all through the country, by their several partisans. 
Various degrees of success attended their labours, and 
one curious phenomenon occurred uniformly, in con- 
nection with their exertions. The manufactures did 
not always thrive, but they invariably settled down 
into localities, no two selecting the same neighbour- 
hood as an abode ; and, in every case, they fixed so 
firmly into their elected districts that they still 
continue to characterize them.* 


Appendix B. 


CHAPTER II. 


Needlework v. Domestic Service. 

Small matters... Instincts and idiosyncrasies... Pauper ■women... Industrial 
culture... Exotic qualities... Working classes of England and Ireland 
not parallel. ..“ Family system”... 8 upervi.sion... Personal influence... 
Can a Boaixi choose ?... Differences not inferiorities...” Don’t feel it in 
their bones”... Ill-paid labour... Bad servants... Want of resources... 
Durability of demand... Machinery extending slowly... Association of 
head and hand... Monetary value... Influence on emigration... Provincial 
characteristics... Letter from America... The crochet harvest and the 
grain crop... Rescued family... Subdivision of labour...” Gingleman’s” 
daughters... Workhouse industry... National school incompetence... 
Resemblances.. .Jealousy.. .Government Schools of Design useless to 
lacemakers...Want of inspection... Want of education ... Ouvroir 
...Gift of embroidery and all needlework... Milesian ancestry... Foreign* 
example. 

Though the employments of women are but small 
matters compared to the great subjects with which 
legislators have to do, they afford some clue to 
information derivable from no census calculations, 
and which no statistics can supply. 

In the State profusion for the education of females, 
and in much of the philanthropical application of 
remedies to our social disorders, the want of recog- 
nition of instincts and idiosyncrasies is distinctly 
visible. 


28 


LACE-MAKTNG IN IHELAND. 


Most of the popular efforts for the benefit of 
the poor women of Ireland are attempted in com- 
plete ignorance of the resources and dispositions 
they are developing* While schemes are being 
matured^ and theories discussed, of which they form 
the subject, they are growing up in the midst of 
influences, which they assimilate after their kind. 
These act, and react, and if we would promote any 
of their good effects, and repress their evil, it must 
be by knowledge of the action set up, as tho rcstdt 
of the operations. 

The wretchedness of pauper women, in and out 
of Irish workhouses, is abundantly published ; and 
not one word too much has been said on the pain- 
ful theme* The section of this class under Poor- 
law care is not showing any improvement, and that 
which is endeavouring to supjDort itself by labour 
is falling short of its aim* Notwithstanding the 
prosperity of some of our classes, there remains a 
permanent mass of pauperism, acting as a counter- 
poise to 4he progress of the whole countiy* 

The female poor form a heavy weight in this 
balance. They encumber the attempts at adjust- 
ment with innumerable difficulties. All proceedings 


EXOTIC QUALITIES. 


29 


to alleviate the case are frustrated by their inca- 
pacity. They are a body of crude material, and 
the tone of the whole system is impaired by this 
portion of it not performing its proper function. 
Wisdom would dictate that the efforts which the 
suffering members make to help themselves should 
be considered, and that where remedial effects are 
discernible, assistance should be administered. In- 
dustrial culture should be undertaken according 
to this rule in order to achieve success. Institutions 
and projects not so regulated must be utterly abor- 
tive, and, while they attest good intentions, make 
the ignorance of those remarkable who attempt 
them. The production of exotic qualities should 
be the last object of our schemes, the development 
of those that exist the very first. Most of the plam* 
proposed for the cultivation of Irishwomen’s powers 
seek solely to induce them to become domestic, 
suggest nothing but training them to foreign house- 
hold habits, without regard to their faculties for 
such employments, or their facilities for carrying 
them out. 

‘‘ I will not pretend to speak concerning Irish 
poorhouse girls, of whose condition such contra- 


30 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND, 


dictorj^ evidence has been lately given before the 
- J 

Parliamentary Committee/^ sa5^s Miss Cobhe, in one 
of her pamji;)hlets bnt those whose observation has 
been considerably exercised on them may undertake 
to speak of them and also of thoir next of km, the 
women of the worldng classes. How we must state, 
that much that relates to both these is not fairly 
brought before the public mind, because of the habit 
of mixing up their case with that of others, whose 
circumstances are widely different, and because few 
social reformers are as forbearing as Miss Cobbe. 
There is no parallel whatever between the females of 
England and Ireland in these two ranks. The race 
predominating in the latter country requires an en- 
tirely different course of treatment from that which 
suits the people of the former. Hence the benevolent 
and wise plans of Mrs, Way, Mrs- Archer, Miss 
Twining and others, which befriend the poor women 
of one country, could only be available for those of 
the other with many modifications. 

The advocates of the “ Pamily System of rear- 
ing girls who come under the guardianship of the 
State, are worthy of all support. This is the only 
* Fnetidhu Girls and Iloto to Melp Thmn. (Victoiia Press.) 


FAMILY SYSTEM. 


31 


ft 




principle tliat respects the design of Him “who 
setteth the solitarj^ in families/^ and accords with 
the divine and hnman object of all law^ the pro- 
motion of the spiritual and matenal interests of 
the being legislated for* The societies working 
out this idea afford abundant evidence of the 
beneficial nature of its results ; but though they 
tend to physical and moral health, and secure a 
great improvement in women^s circumstances in 
England, in Ireland the benefits arising from it would 
be limited. 

The Irish girke domestic experience would be 
necessarily confined to the condition of the house- 
hold in which she might be placed ; and this probably 
would be so low in the scale of civilised life that, 
while her feelings and affections are gaining the 
home roots, whereby woman^s nature can alone be 
nourished, she would be rimning the risk of forming 
habits, that may bar her progress, and cause her to 
swell the ranks of the helpless among whom she 
lives. 

There is something more than the “Family 
ISystem ” wanted for pauper girls in Ireland ; 
intelligent female supervision is an indispensable 


32 


LAOE-MAtCTNG TN IRELAND. 


agency in tke administration of the plan. This 
should he in the form of official Yisitors, authorized 
to report to the guardians on the state of the chil- 
dren, for whose maintenance and training they are 
responsible. 

The advantage of permission to receive these in- 
mates could be made an encouragement to domestic 
improvement, and the efficient performance of the work 
of inspection, wonld contribnte to the welfare of more 
than one class of the community. This duty is 
done for charitable societies practising the Family 

t 

System/^ by ladies ; and it is to their work that any 
success which attends the arrangemeut is mainly 
due. We venture to assert that it is in the man- 
ner in which this action is carried on, that the 
potency for good of the whole proceeding lies. 
The plan of the Protestant Orphan Society is 
said to contain all that need be sought for to 
. guard and protect the orphan client of the State/"*^ 
and the life of this is its close and accurate super- 
vision. The families accepting the care of these 

* On the Workhouse Sj/stemf a pa^jer read "before the Statisti- 
cal and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland. February, 1S62, 
by M, S. O’Shaughuessy, Esq. 


CAN A BOARD CHOOSE? 


33 


children come imder a directing influence of the 
highest order. Godliness, cleanliness, and industry 
are encouraged by individual 'personal address, 
which, depending on the assurance that faith 
cometh by hearing, goes forth to do this labour 
of love. 

Dr. Handcock, in one of his papers on ‘‘The 
Family System,^’ asks a very important question, 
which applies with greater force to female than 
male children under Poor-law guardianship. “ How 
can a board composed of persons in one rank of 
life, choose the proper trade for orphans in a totally 
different rank, (awe? of a different eex)^ of whom 
they know nothing, personally, as to their tastes, 
opportunities, connexions, or abilities ? 

Obviously it does not attempt these, not super- 
human but eminently super-taare? exertions. But 
put those bodies en rapport with the spirit so power- 
fully working through woman^s agency; let them 
suffer her to do her acts of charity, with the force 
of legislative permission, and then the connexion 
will be made, which shall convey the vital current 
of humanizing, civilizing. Christianizing instruction, 
not only to the pauper classes of our society, but 

D 


34 


LACE-MAKING IN IRELAND. 


into the heart of the domestic circle of the working 
poor. 

The faculties of the Irish female population never 
produce spontaneously, the same sort of household 
conveniences and comforts as those indispensable to 
English family life. This condition cannot be got 
rid of. It is an idiosyncrasy. There are people 
in Ireland, as well as in France and Italy, who 
cannot conform to the habits and manners of their 
Saxon neighbours ; but who, nevertheless, attain 
a civilization and refinement of their own. Differ- 
ences are not necessarily inferiorities. Our girls 
‘‘ don^t feel it in their bones to wash, cook, and 
polish ; and they do not readily yield to the popular 
urgency to employ them in this species of servi- 
tude. For them the work in demand has no ascer- 
tained value. It gives no promise of social elevation. 
No labour is worse paid for in Ireland than this, nor 
has any other done so little for those depending upon 
it. The Edinburgh Review (April, 1862, page 421), 
gives a picture, which we regret to say is but too life- 
like. After describing the usual morning routine of 
Irish housekeeping, the writer says : When we have 

once seen the open way in which they are treated 


ILL PAID LABOUR. 


35 


as suspected persons, we can no longer wonder at 
any complaints of bad servants in Ireland. The 
wonder is that any self-respecting man or woman 
should ever go to service.^^ The fact is, they have 
not this self-respect. Their want of educational 
training, and the absence of any choice of modes 
of gaining livelihoods, drive them unwillingly to 
this work. 

A scarcity of this household labour would be a 
benefit, not only to the servant, but to the mistress ; 
and every industrial resource should be encouraged 
that would increase the number of means of earning 
bread. Under their operation, domestic circum- 
stances would have a fair chance of improving. 
Competition with other sorts of employment would 
compel advantages to be accorded to this ; and the 
probability is, that in an independent class pushing 
up from lower ranks, will be found better women 
to supply domestic .wants, able to comprehend 
modern requirements, and willing to engage in 
household service on terms of mutual profit. 

Ladies who are visiting workhouses, and selecting 
girls to train to household duties, are doing a great 
good ; but they cannot do all that is required. 


36 


LACE-MAKlNG IN IRELAND, 


They must leave behind a large body of tLon- 
elect ; and what is to become of these ? The State 
provision for their instruction ought to afford some 
teaching to enable them to fall into the ranks of 
the workers of any manufacture within their reach ; 
and these manufactures would increase if sldlled 
hands were more readily procurable by employers. 
Commercial men who avail themselves of Irish- 
women’s labour are unanimous in complaining of 
its qualitjj and their grievance is as worthy to be 
entertained as that of housewives* Nothing but 
cheapness could compensate tradesmen for dealing 
with such unprepared hands, and the low rates 
of payments are not an evidence of their ilHberality, 
but the fault of the system of education, which gwe^ 
no special information on the subject of those indus- 
trial employments, that are likely to be useful 
to those who have to work for their daily bread* 
There is great ground for complaint of the way 
in which the needlework manufactures of Ireland 
have been slighted* While they have been doing 
more than any other agency to elevate its depressed 
female population, and have formed a passage 
from pauperism to independent life which has 


ASSOCIATION OF HEAD AND HAND. 


37 


been largely useful, the notice taken of their 
efforts has not been such as to make them 
firm, and increase their extent. Of one branch 
of these alone, the advantages are manifest. 
The durability of the demand for these manu- 
factures will last as long as the fashions” 
of the world ; and it is certain, that on one 
branch of them machinery entrenches but slowly. 
They have a living force among their elements, 
with which no cogs, wheels, nor steam-engine 
can compete. The association of the designing 
human head with the elaborating hand, forms a 
combination of power, that no other contrivance 
can approach ; and, in order to render these invinci- 
ble, we have but to enable the former to multiply 
its conceptions ad and the latter to in- 

crease its capability of giving them expression. 
But even should fingers extend into joints of iron 
and steel, we shall not be astray in encouraging 
women to seek subsistence in ministering to a 
taste for ornament, which commerce is makiug 
world-wide. 

The monetary value of these manufactures was 
equal, at one time, to one-fourth of the linen trade ; 


38 


LACE-MAKING IN IKELAND. 


sewed muslin exports rating at £1,400,000 per an- • 
num, and lace at £144,000. 

There can be no question of the benefit of such 
resources to a country, and of the good of their 
competition with each other, with plain sewing, and 
with domestic ser\dce. 

Plain-sewing is now almost entirely under the con- 
trol of the machine, and the calculation that semps- 
tresses would be injured thereby is no longer relied on. 
So far from its depressing the value of their art, it is 
now known that it promotes it. Sldll in needle- 
work alone enables persons to use the new sewing 
process profitably, and the stimulant to excellence 
is greater than under the old system. Wages in 
factories are higher than those paid for finger la- 
bour, and there is no decrease in the numbers em- 
ployed in the making of useful commodities. These 
are being produced cheaper than heretofore, and 
their consumption made possible by classes formerly 
below the reach of such refining matters. Perhaps 
we may hail this effect of machinery as a blessing 
singularly providing for Irish people^s need, and 
hope for well-clad people, when they shall be enabled 


INFLUENCE ON EMIGRATION. 


39 


to purchase ready made that which they cannot be 
induced to make. 

The large sum that embroidery and crochet 
brought into the countrjj tells Yery distinctly on the 
social condition of Ireland. From it came chiefly the 
means whereby the emigration of women from that 
country was enabled to keep pace with that of men 
for the ten years between 1849 and "59. It is no ex- 
aggeration of facts that leads to the conclusion 
that the number of female emigrants in that period, 
509j036, may be midtipKed by ten, to give the 
amount in sovereigns provided for the purpose of 
emigration by this instrumentality alone. Thus^ more 
than £5,000,000 went out of the country, but a balance 
of nearly £9,000,000 remained to fructify at home, 
and has done so to a very important extent * 

The older and greater of these two needlework 
manufactures was not the principal agent in this 
proceeding. Sewed muslin, though in action since 

* Ten years^ income from needlework manufac- 
tures . . ■* . . 15,44 0,000 

Sum used for emigration . . 5,^90,360 


Balance spent at home . 


. £9,749,640 


40 


LACE- MAKING IN IRELAND. 


18^2, bad not taken this effect on the community, 
until the industrial impetus of 1850 began its fer- 
mentation in the community; and eyen then, it 
was not in the ranks of its workers that the migra- 
tory spirit manifested itself in the greatest degree. 
Ulster became the seat of the embroidery trade, 
and the section of the population least under the in- 
fluence of the tendency to emigrate engaged in it 
the most extensively. In this province, the pre- 
ponderance of the Scotch Saxons, or Presbyterians, 
over the Celts, subdued the propensity a good deal. 
Notwithstanding its larger number of people and 
greater wealth, the proportion of emigration was 
only 16^71 per cent, in it, while in Munster, where 
the mass of inhabitants is more uninixedly Celtic, it 
was 23'17, The districts in which this movement 
was strongest were those in which the lace trade 
was most active. Whether these facts have any 
connexion or not, they are co-incidental, and worthy 
of being taken into account in the consideration 
of Irish character. 

From Cork, the greatest field of this employment, 
a large number of crochet - workers emigrated, their 
own earnings supplying them with the means. 


LETTER VnOU AMERICA* 


41 


In the schools^ the girls, though suffering extreme 
privations, frequently hoarded their money for this 
object, and, while saving it in too small sums to he 
received in banks, they entrusted it to the ladies who 
had provided them with this trade* A letter was lately 
received by one of these from America, telling of 
the easy circumstances of the writer, who had been 
eight years ago a pupil in the Adelaide School, 
and stating, by way of illustration, that she is “ rich 
enough now to dress better than her former pa- 
tronesses*” 

Mrs* Hand, of Clones, greatly encouraged the 
saving habit, and much of the money so accumu- 
lated was used for emigration* 

The hindrances of ignorance and poverty are 
much greater in the south than in the north of 
Ireland, and any success in the south is worth 
more than in the north in testifying what Irish- 
women can do* Besides emigrating, by this means, 
they have done other and more wonderful acts* 
There is evidence to show that, although strugghng 
with every disadvantage many have attained a good 
step up in the world through its help* 

Several places such as Carrigaline, Coachford, 


42 


LACE- MAKING IN IRELAND, 


and Cloyne, jiurely agricultural loealitieSj de- 
rived some valuable assistance from this employ- 
ment, tbougli it cannot be said of any of 
them, as it may of Clones, that “ the- crochet 
harvest was only second in importance to the grain 
crop/^ Of the 12,000 workers at this lace in the 
area including Cork city, suburbs, dependencies, 
and neighbouring towns, at least one-half were of 
the class which lives ordinarily upon provision 
contributed either by law, or by private charity. Of 
these people several can now be found earning 
comfortable livings, A few of the best hands now 
at this business in Cork are from these ranks, and 
so are many who are now respectably and profitably 
engaged in other commercial occupations, while many 
became domestic servants, and others married. One 
of the number, in reply to inejuiries ou the subject, 
said : good lot of girls never looked back since 

the day they got their first crochet hook.^^ 

Many ladies who interested themselves in this 
employment could give details which prove this 
point. The writer^ s experience furnishes some, 
that are not unimportant, 

A small bundle of dark cloth, dripping wet, sat 


RESCUED FAMILY. 


43 


on the end of a form, on a miserable winter’s day, 
fifteen years ago, in the crochet-school of the Cork 
Poor Relief Society.” The humanity of the 
object was scarcely discernible through the dirty 
encumbrance of its dishevelled hair, and the in- 
volution of an old cloak that composed its only 
garment. But this was a person, and had a mind 
of its own, though as untutored in the convention- 
alisms of civilized life as the gorilla of M. du 
Chaillu. 

When the teacher entered the room, it found a 
voice, and proposed a most business-like bargain : — 
‘‘ Give me a needle and a reel, till I make some 
of this,” pointing to a girl’s work, and here’s a 
penny to lay dowm for them.” 

Where did you get the penny ? ” 

I begged it.” 

This conversation was of so ordinary a nature 
that it made no impression at the time, but the 
transaction it established brought about results 
worth recording. It was recently recalled by the 
pupil and her instructor, when they met, and, in 
the course of conversation, referred to their intro- 
duction to each other. 


44 


LACE-MAKTNG XN IRET.ANB. 


Tkis same childj through her exertious, enabled 
her mother and sisters to come out of the work- 
house, where they were when she entered the 
crochet school ; and they all became workers at 
this trade; the mother a “^Yasher/" one daughter 
a “pimier and tacker/'* and the other two made 
“ hits and “ barred/^ In a short time they had 
a httle home, and haye since managed to keep it* 
In explanation of these technical words it must he 
told, that the fabric is made in a peculiar manner 
in Cork The method was invented for the pur- 
pose of bringing the manipulation within the 
compass of females of various ages and "degrees 

t 

of skill, and it was a perfect success ; for old 

women and little children are able to produce of the 

article jointly, and by uniting with one accomplished 

hand, several can avail themselves of it, who are shut 

out from other sorts of needlework* 

This division of labour makes this manufacture 

very beneficial to poor families of the south of 

V AU 

Ireland* In tho north and midland counties, the * 
work is done on a different plan* The whole piece 
is finished by each hand in Clones, New Ross, 
and Kildare. The pressure of need was never so 


‘^gingleman’s^^ daughters. 45 

expediting in these places as in the more southern 
counties ; and better opportunities were afforded, 
for elaborating and cultivating the character of the 
goods. In these cases the bulk of the production 
was more condensed, and the payments less .diffused ; 
hence the consequent results are more apparent. 
When the difficulties of the trade are considered, 
and the competition in each separate portion of 
the article allowed for, the individual instances of 
workers in Cork making money by it deserve peculiar 
notice, as demonstrating cleverness in construction, 
and developing qualities of a high order. 

The four little daughters of a gingleman ” 
(cabman), who had taken shelter in the poorhouse 
there, with his wife and six children, came out 
one by one, and, by means of this employment, 
freed the rest of their family. The writer has been 
offered a complimentary drive by the reinstated 
father of these and feels bound to state that 

ingratitude is not the common result of this system 
of out-dODri;/^lief/^ The schools in which this 
power^ was acquit^ were perfectly independent 
of the State provision for the training of the 
young. 


46 


LACE-MAKINQ IN IH-ELAND. 


It is remarkable, tbat while no stimulus seemed 
proYocative of industry m the workhouse, outside 
of it the progress was extraordinary* klaterials 
and teaching supplied to hubitu^s in residence there, 
were waste — lost labour* The Kational School edu- 
cation did not develop this industry to which female 
intelligence, by an inspectorship, minute and parti- 
cular, which perceived the capabilities of its poor 
countrywomen, directed the course of their genius* 
Now, this action naturally set up deserved to 
be supported. 

The industry burst up in several places like 
water- springs, and it should have been looked to 
and preserved. It is not too late to do something for 
them ; and any interference that may he attempted 
should be strictly locah No vague legislation will 
answer the case, it must he investigated, and made a 
distinct point of appHeation* 

The resemblance between the Irish and their con- 
tinental relatives is, in some respects, so strong 
as to favour the adoption of measures in Ireland, 
similar to those that have been successful abroad* 
In the needlework industries many features in 
common with then foreign cousins may he traced ; 


JEALOUSY. 


47 


but, — alas for the disadvantage under which poor 
Ireland struggles ! — no governmental care fosters 
the development of its tastes, and therefore they 
remain undefined and ineflfective, while rudiments 
abound for the formation of trades, as profitable 
and beautiful as those from which the French, 
Belgians, and women of other countries derive 
support. 

It is hard for Irishwomen to suppress the rising 
of jealousy, when they view the lovely productions 
which foreign women contribute to the International 
Exhibitions, while they feel that for such occupations 
they have peculiar talents, but no means ivhatever of 
cultivating them. 

By a recent arrangement, access to the govern- 
ment Schools of Design is provided for girls from 

National Schools ; but some idea may be formed of 

• • 

the futility of this offer, when it is stated that in 
the principal seat of the lace manufacture^ the instruc- 
tion afforded conveys no information applicable to the 
introduction of the artistic element into that work! 
There is no system of inspection connected with this 
department which reaches the case of these pupils. 
They are left to their own devices, and with an 


48 


LACE-MAKING m IRELAI?5D, 


education insufficient to enable these devices to 
subserve their proper interest, as may be expected, 
they gain little by their application to the Art 
Schools. 

Children for whom the public purse is charge- 
able should be individualized and personally 
superintended, and their progress recorded and 
directed. Not only for their own eakes, but for 
the benefit of the trades of the country, there should 
be an object for study set before them. 

Frenchwomen have an immense advantage in the 
Asik Omroir, This institution is annexed to the 
ordinary literary schools, and is always closed when 
they are open. It is free to girls of all classes, 
whether attending the other schools or not, and the 
law compels them to cultivate the description of 
work which the employers of labour in the district 
demand ; and it provides every facility for improve- 
ment in arts connected with it. 

Such help as this would be a great benefit to Irish 
girls. The National System of Education does not 
afford it to them efficiently, although it has a special 
industrial department included in its organization, 
expressly intended for this purpose. The difficulty 


FEMALE INSPECrrON* 


49 


of making this useful is greatly to be regretted ; for, 
besides supplying the want of instruction in needle- 
work, it might be made influential in moral training, 
without interfering with religious teaching, and 
without exciting sectarian feeling* If properly ap- 
plied, this institution is capable of advancing the 
interests of Irish needlewomen materially ; and there 
is but one hindrance to its utilization, but that one 
is fundamental. It cannot be done unless female 
impection be employed in carrying out its scheme* 
Tinder the superintendence of nuns, the best efibrts 
are made to render the government grant available ; 
but even in the earnest, patient hands of these ladies, 
it fails accompKsh what is required ; and where 
schools are under the control of clergymen, or of lay 
patrons, there is no security whatever that female 
industrial training will be rightly attended to. The 
models and tests adopted by the Commissioners of 
Education are not such as would be approved of by 
competent judges of needlework, and hence the cer- 
tificate of merit adjudged under their Board in this 
department is of no recognized value. This state of 
things is most undesirable, and might easily be ob- 
viated; and we have some hope that it will. bo so. 


E 


50 


LACE-MAKTNG IN IRELAND. 


because the association of women with men, in the 
management of such affairs, is now an established 
principle — established by the admission of Florence 
Nightingale to the sanitary councils of the nation, 
and by the approbation of Miss Burdett Coutts^ 
scheme for extending educational benefits. 

The wants of poor Irishwomen are now well known 
to women of the higher classes ; and among these 
ladies there is surely some one who would, if allowed, 
come forward and assist in permanently relieving the 
distressed of her own sex, by investigating the con- 
dition of the industrial schools, and arranging a sys- 
tematic inspection of them, with a view to the classi- 
fication and cultivation of the peculiar 4,talents and 
abilities of her countrywomen. 

The old race of Ireland wants something from 
its legislators. Its women beg for a boon that could 
be easily granted; nay, they deserve it, by the 
sacred right which entitles those to help who help 
themselves ! So far forth as they were able, they 
have tried to exercise their talents. They have 
not neglected* the gift of embroidery and aU 

* Lectures on the MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, 
by Eugene O’Curry. Dublin : Duffy, 1861. 


GIFT OF EMBROIDERY. 


51 


needlework, which was in them since the far 
back age, in which the beautiful Eimer was courted 
by the Ulster champion Cuchulainn, This noble 
lady was found by her suitor engaged in giving 
instruction in such arts ; and if any learned Irishlan 
will translate and publish the minute description 
of a lad3?^s dress, contained in the story of the 
‘^Courtship of the Woman of Little Dowry, who 
was sought in marriage by a monarch of Erinn 
in the sixth century, it will be seen that, in those 
days, no small amount of cultivation was bestowed on 
the manufactures, to which our countr}^women are 
still addicted. It is far from uninteresting, to know 
that we have such an instance to show of the per- 
sistence of tastes and pursuits among the various 
races of people in this island. In the case of 
crochet lace this is to be particularly remarked. 
Quite distinct from the pillow laces, the common 
property of many mixed families, crochet is not 
imitative in its manipulation, it has had no formula 
or models to copy from, no foreign forerunners to 
take pattern by, and yet it took its place in the land ; 
avoiding the small portions of the country where 
the other sorts of lace prevail, and maintaining 


52 


LACE-MAKINQ IN IHELANB. 


its distance from sewed mnslin and from other kinds 
of needlework it stands the representatiYe of an 
inherent power in an old stock. The Spaniards 
used it for some of their ornamental work, and 
this favours the report of its Milesian ancestry j but, 
with or without a pedigree, and in conjunction with 
all other manufactures in which the female popula- 
tion of Ireland have employed themselves, we com- 
mend it to the consideration of the guardians of 
pauper girls, and the educators of the working classes 
in that country. Give Irishwomen special training 
for their peculiar faculties, and there can he no reason 
why Ireland should not he, in the British dominions, 
what Yosges, Ypres, Malines, and YaletLCe, are 
in their respective countries. 


§llni SHrriit^t0iT. 








fl'. 





iBffrrnr^'Tnitrri irtriri inrr'-ifTr 




CHAPTER I. 


On a glorious morning in June, 1848, H.M.S. Breeze 
steamed into a small harbour on the west coast of 
Ireland. Ships develop dispositions with peculiar 
distinctness; and this one, in every naotion, expressed 
eagerness to accomplish its mission. 

The Breeze had, on many occasions, proved strong 
to bear Britannia^s sword, but this was the first time 
she was sent to do her deeds of charity. She was 
laden with food for the relief of the famine-stricken 
inhabitants of the district ; and, forward in love as 
in war, before she came to an anchor, preparations 
for the delivery of her cargo were rapidly progressing. 
There were groups of people on the shore anxiously 
watching the approach of the ship’s boats. The 


56 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


moment the meal-casks and flour-bags were landed, 
hunger broke through the stone-wall of order, and a 
rush was made on the provisions. It was a savage 
scene; all hands seized on what they could get; 
many ate the uncooked substances with ravenous- 
ness, and the imperiousness of empty stomachs super- 
seded all official arrangements. The sailors, awed by 
the presence of an unknown foe, offered no resistance, 
and men, that had never yielded to an enemy, suf- 
fered Want to carry ofi* their freight unmolested. 
The officer in command found his sense of duty 
strangely subverted on this occasion; impelled to 
regard sufiering more than the ‘^circumlocution 
office,’’ and starvation as stronger than “ red-tape,” 
he did not attempt to restore order ^ man-of-war 
fashion, but let Nature have its way on both sides. 
Very soon the rough tar was seen helping the weak 
peasant, and testifiying brotherly interest in his 
miserable condition. Many, with little Gospel 
knowledge, performed Gospel acts, and “he that 
had two coats freely imparted to him that had 
none.” 

Mr. Hartley, the lieutenant in charge of the steamer, 
inquired for the clerg^Tnan, to whom he should have 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


57 


deliYored tlie stores ; and who mnet now certify for 
him, that, though irregularly, they had reached the 
proper quarter. The parsonage was pointed out to 
him ; it was at a little distance, and, as he walked 
towards it, the painful impression produced by the 
occurrence he had just witnessed, made him very 
thoughtful about the. means of permanent relief, for 
a state of things that he could not have believed in, 
unless he had seen. When he reached the indicated 
house, it was some time before his knock for admittance 
was replied to, so he had leisure to remark the exte- 
rior of the premises. Originally they had been hand- 
some and extensive, but they were now sadly dilapi- 
dated and neglected. The lawn had felt no tiller^s 
hand for many a day, and no sign of animal life broke 
the monotony of the grounds. The house itself, with 
its many closed windows, looked like a sick man 
composing himself to sleep through his decay. Even 
a hold outline of cliffs, a background of quiet verdant 
hills, a winding valley, permitting a gentle stream 
to steal into the bay, failed to give the idea of a 
pleasant residence, so oppressive seemed the poverty 
that had laid its hand on the habitation. That 
potato-blight in Ireland paralyzed everything : 


58 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


people stopped short in their building, repairing, 
decorating, even house-cleaning ; civilized life was 
at a stand. 

Mr. Hartley’s contemplations were disturbed by 
the opening of the hall-door. A stout little girl, 
whom he had seen on the shore, battling for her 
share of the meal, was the porteress. There was 
some difficulty in inducing her to admit him ; and 
more still in persuading her that he must see the 
Rev. Mr. Longwood. She was bent on taking in his 
message,” or on his calling again in an hour or 
so : ” at last, she admitted him, and asked him to be 
seated. After some time, Mr. Longwood made his 
appearance ; evidently he was just out of bed, and 
was in very delicate health; he seemed a kind, 
agreeable sort of man, and was both courteous 
and conversational : he and his visitor soon made 
acquaintance with each other, and with the busi- 
ness that introduced them. In the course of a 
somewhat prolonged interview, the officer learned 
enough to make him regard the man that sat 
opposite him as a hero, whom he could not emulate. 
Fasting was an enemy that he did not often en- 
counter ; and the stratagems and defences described 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


59 


by the poor clergyman, were to him feats in a cam- 
paign which he dared not undertake. 

It transpired, in conversation, that Mr. Longwood 
was recovering from the epidemic fever, and that his 
wife was lying down in it, and that their only nurse 
was the little girl that had opened the door. With 
much kindness and pity, and already feeling quite a 
friendship for the uncomplaining sufferer, who so 
simply told such a sad tale, Mr. Hartley took his 
leave. 

When he was going down the avenue, a young 
man rode past him, and he obsers^ed that he dis- 
mounted near the house, released his rough horse 
from bridle and saddle, and let him run loose in the 
grass, while he himself familiarly entered the dwelling. 

Hartley, on reaching the high road, turned in the 
direction of a village that he perceived at a little 
distance ; and was not many minutes walking along, 
when he heard a voice calling after him : 

“ I say. Captain, donH walk so fast. Let me be 
talking to you.'' 

On looking back, he saw the same individual 
that had gone into the Parsonage, a few minutes 
before, so he stood and waited until he came up. 


60 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


Tom Neligan, M.D*, at your servicej siv” said 
the pursuer^ lifting his hat, bowing, and waving his 
hand towards himself. Hartlejf returned the saluta- 
tion and fell into line to walk with the stranger, and 
submit to the talking to ” for which he had been 
called back* It ran on in the following manner : — 

“ So youVe brought the food at last ! The moment 
that I heard how you let the people lay hands on it, 
I made after you to blow you up* Why, it would be 
as well to let them die for the want of it, as to allow 
them to burst from the eating of it, as I expect 
the half of them will now do ! Didn^t you know we 
have no boilers ? And how is the meal to be cooked ? 
and who is to do it ? Why didnH you bring the 
bread ready-made ?~A set of fine boys all of yon ! 
If it was ye that were wanting it, what good stuff 
would be baked for ye ; and the dinners laid on plates, 
and everything to your hand ! But you wonH set us 
up with such attendance [ 

Hartley could hear the accusing tone of this style 
of address no longer :~ 

Sir, said he, “ you are strangely ignorant of the 
nature of my duties. Your complaints should be 
addressed to the Commissariat Department*’^ 


i 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 61 

And, turning on liis heel, he^ was about to part 
company abruptly with his singular companion, when 
the doctor exclaimed. 

Holloa, I offended you, did I ? Well, Vm sorry 
for it, but you must not quarrel with a man who 
wants a new friend to help him to save some of the 
old ones.^^ 

And, putting out his hand, he made a very humble 
apology, and smiled so pleasantly, that Hartley, 
though offended by the imputation of mismanage- 
ment, did not refuse to accept the proffered 
afnende. He also now observed, that the man was as 
queer in his appearance as in his speech, was dressed 
in a very nondescript fashion, and was encumbered 
with three or four game-bags and a fishing-basket, 
all of which hung about him, as if he were a stand 
for their especial accommodation ; the only possi- 
ble conclusion was that he was deranged, and must 
be humoured accordingly. But his conduct in the 
village which they were just entering, gave proof, that, 
whatever his mania was, there was method in it; 
and that it did much in its own way to relieve 
the miserable destitution which every step re- 
vealed. 


62 


ELLEN HARRINGTON* 


Look at that side of the village, captain/^ said 
he, “every house there is shut up, nearly all the 
people that belonged to it lie buried in that ditch, 
where you see the earth red ; and not a day passes 
that two or three more don^t join them* 

“ Come into my Dispensary, — but sure it is 'kit- 
chen' it ought to he called, and kitchen-stuff is the 
physic I ought to have in it— I'm afraid the boiler 
won't be up until we are all past wanting it*" 

Groups began to gather roimd the gentlemen, and 
the hearer discovered, that though but two days had 
elapsed since the doctor's last visit, many of his pa- 
tients had found their rest in the long sleep that 
knows no waking ; he momned for them somewhat 
in this stylo : — 

“ Don't teU me, the Doolans are all gone, and the 
Doddys — eight strong men, in all, let alone women 
and children ! Driscoll, you're all right again* 
Here, take this drink of broth*" 

“Tes, yer honour, Fm on my legs, thank God! 
StQl I'm sorry to be the one to be going to turn the 
sod over Leary and Looney, that are lying on their 
backs yonder*" 


“ You ! man, you're not able*" 


ELLEN HARRINGTON* 


63 


Aii^ sure rm saisoned for it, doctor, glory he to 
God (crossing himself reyereutly,) “any way, 
none of thim that are not, ought to go anear that 
ditch*” 

^^Dead, or aKre, you're all dangerous company, 
my poor fellow. This gentleman and I will dig you 
a fresh hole* Captain, this will he a real charity ; 
not a soul here is strong enough to use a spade pro- 
perly, and they can't bury the bodies deep enough, 
WiU you bear a hand ?” 

Fll do better, if you wait a little, for I'll send 
you men, and get a trench of some depth dug for 
you ; but where is the churchyard ?” 

Four miles off, and there's neither money, nor 
strength, nor time to get at it* To convince you of 
the necessity for this rude and hasty burial, just come 
in here," 

They entered one of the best looMng cabins, and, as 
soon as they got accustomed to the gloomy light, they 
saw in one comer of the wretched apartment, a man 
lying on his hack, almost naked, and evidently dying; a 
woman was sitting upright near him, rigid in despair; 
two children were dead at her side, and one, in the 
delirium of fever, lay tossing and moaning on her 


64 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


lap. The doctor produced a bottle from his basket, 
and administered a cordial to the mother, the only 
creature able to swallow in this almost tomb. The 
poor woman rose, laid aside the baby, and staggered 
over to her husband’s side ; at that moment he drew 
his last, long breath, and the miserable wife fell 
across his body, also giving up her weary life. 

Such a sight drove Hartley into the open air, and 
it was many minutes before he rejoined the doctor, 
who had no time to give way to his feelings, and who 
was now found in the midst of a wretched crowd, to 
whom he administered mingled doses of orders, re- 
bukes, pity, and cordials ; while their thanks, prayers, 
blessings, and complaints, produced a medley of sounds, 
in which the various tones of the sufferers with the 
voice of their benefactor made the chords of a beautiful 
melody, whose key-note of kindness was easily found. 
With this in his ears. Hartley turned to Neligan, 
anxiously hastening to discover how he could con- 
tribute to his assistance ; and now, indeed, he listened 
to his Clinique with growing respect, as they continued 
to walk through roads that seemed to lead, at every 
step, to some fresh and more distressing case of 
misery. 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


65 


“ Captain, no pliarmacopcnia can furnish me with 
formula to suit the various symptoms of this radical 
disease. We want ready-made diet, or bring us 
cooks and kitchen-ranges ! The very whiskey, that 
used to assist the work of digestion in their half 
savage stomachs, is also absent ; and without stimulant 
it is of no use to give them nourishment ; with the 
help of it, they used to turn potatoes into humanity 
quickly enough ; but now all the soup and stirabout 
they swallow, is as much outside them as ever, with- 
out ‘ the drop ^ that used to excite their functions, 
and preserve their tissues.’^ 

Hartley took the doctor on board with him ; and 
the boat that brought him back to the shore contained 
a contribution to his Dispensary of the grog for that 
day of every man on board the Breeze. 

Deeds like these,'’ said Neligan, '‘shall be re- 
warded when the great Inquest sits on our poor 
souls." 


F 


CHAPTER II. 


Some days after these occurreiiceSj the steamer 
entered the same bay ; and the officer proceeded as 
before to land his cargo, which was this time better 
selected, and with improved arrangements. His new 
acquaintance had occupied much of his mind since 
his visit, and he had dwelt with great sympathy on 
the poverty and affliction of the clergyman and his 
family, and on their evident shrinking from making 
a claim for the help, which they needed quite as 
much as the poorest of the parishioners. As Mr. 
Hartley climbed the cliff, his name was called from 
a distant point, and, hastening forward, he met the 
little girl from the parsonage, running towards him 
in great excitement. 

Mrs Longwood is dead,'^ she sobbed out. 

He took her hand, and nearly joined in her tears. 
With all the frankness of a child, she poured out her 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


67 


sorrows to him ; and on the way to the house, he found 
out that she was still the only attendant on the suf- 
ferers : that they had exhausted not only their stores, 
but their energies and strength, in ministering to the 
wants of the neighbouring poor ; and that, without 
nourishment or comfort, the poor lady had sunk 
under the disease from which Mr. Longwood was 
rallying, only to return to circumstances of privation 
of which it was most touching to hear. 

When they entered the house, it seemed truly 
as if desolation pervaded it. Walls, floors, and 
furniture testified to the presence of domestic dis- 
turbance, and calamity appeared to have settled 
on the very hearth. Mr. Longwood was sitting 
beside his dead wife, and was for some time quite 
unconscious of their entrance. The struggle with 
which he received even the kindest sympathy, was 
very great, and it was not without difficulty that 
Hartley induced him to withdraw to another room, 
in order to permit the last sad offices to be performed 
for the corpse. In an hour or so, the house began 
to fill with the poor people that were left in the 
neighbourhood; all eagerly pressing in to express 
their feelings, and mourn afiectionately over the re- 


68 


ELLEN HARRINGTON- 


mains of thoir benevolent friend. Loud and melan- 
choly was the keen that burst from the YOry hearts of 
the distressed creatures, who assembled at the scene 
of sorrow ! It was very trying to poor Long- 
wood — very saddening to Hartlej’^, who, from the 
story they wept ontj gathered a long tale of self-deny- 
ing charity. 

While the men and women crowded rotmd Mi% 
Long wood, with most sincere concern and sympathy. 
Hartley could not help perceiving that the Doctor 
was right, in insisting on immediate burial for those 
who suecumhed to the prevalent disease, as it was emi- 
nently contagious, and the people were singularly 
devoid of precaution against it, or of suitable arrange- 
ments for checking its progress. He held some conver- 
sation on the subject with the little girl, who seemed 
to be the only person in the household able to do 
anything. From her he learned that the Longwoods 
were entirely without money ; and that no coffins, nor 
means of regular burial, were to be had, nearer than a 
tovTi five miles off ; that no horse could be procured ; 
and that not a single person could be found strong 
enough to walk that distance. 

A small enclosure round the little chm^ch, never 


ELLEN HAREINGTON. 


69 


yet used for interment purposes, offered a fitting 
sepulchre for one whose sacrificed life well entitled 
her to the honour of a new tomb ; and Hartley pro- 
posed to bring up his men, and to relieve the family 
from a duty which it would have been extremely 
difficult for them to perform* 

The crew of the knew what it was to con- 

sign the body of a comrade to the deep ; but it was 
strange work to them to enshroud a lady in naval 
canvass, dig her rough grave, and lay her tenderly in 
it* Poor Mi\ Longwood tried at the grave side, to use 
“ the form of sound words in his hand ; but the cry 
of nature from his heart, responded to by many an 
echoing spirit, superseded all other burial service. 
When the interment was over. Hartley, on whom 
he had leaned through the solemn scene, begged 
him to come off with him on board his ship, and 
offered the kindest hospitality most pressingly ; but 
the firm refusal to c[nit a post now dearer than ever to 
him, convinced the good-hearted officer that it was use- 
less to urge the matter farther* The girl's statement 
of poverty oppressed him, he longed to open his purse 
to his new found friend, as he would have done to 
a brother; and he resolved to find a way to serve 


70 


ELLEN HARRINGTON, 


him against his will. The time to sail drew nigh ; in 
parting he placed a bank-note in the little girl’s handj 
using almost the words as well as the action of the 
good Samaritan. 

Another fortnight^ and the Breeze again approached, 
the creek. This time Lieutenant Hartley was met on 
the heaeh by the parish clerk (himself a resurrection 
from the pre¥alent feyer) : and informed that Mr. 
Long wood had been laid beside his wife ; and that 
his brother, Mr. Trank Longwood, had hut just 
come in time to close the weary eyes of the martyred 
minister, and that immediately after he had set out 
for Dublin, leaving “Miss Ellen” to share the 
humble home of the clerk, and promising to pay 
for her accommodation, on a very low scale of re- 
muneration. Hartley was truly shocked at this 
sad event ; and felt it as deeply as if he had had 
an older friendship, and a longer intereourse with 
the family, whose closing scenes alone had connected 
it with him; and he was not a little disappointed 
at the abrupt ending of his connexion with it, 
and the absence of any recognition of his services. 
The brother, he thought, might have written him 
a line ; and even the girl ought not to have 


ELLEN HAREINGTON, 


71 


forgotten his interest in the troubles of the house- 
hold. 

The clerk told Hartley that Mr* Longwood had been 
about five years curate of 0.^ — , and that the Hcctorj 
an Honourable and Reverend gentlemanj lived in 
France. It was believed that Mr. Long^vood re- 
ceived no payment for his services^ besides the pro- 
duce of the glebe lands ; and since the famine came^ 
this must have been nothing to speak of* The little 
girl that lived with them was the orphan child of a 
brother of Mrs. Long wood’s; her name was Ellen 
Harrington, and she had never known any maternal 
care but that of Mrs* Longwood, her mother having 
died in giving her birth* Her activity and clever- 
ness seemed a pleasant theme to the clerk, who said 
that he believed he should not have been alive 
that moment, but for her care and attention daring 
his illness* 

The exertions of this young creature were so 
amazing to Mr* Hartley, that he resolved at once to 
do something to assist her ; and, if in his power, 
to provide her with some resource for her living. 

should like to “see the poor little thing,” he 
said ; and the clerk, who was also the parish school- 




72 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


master, conducted him to the school-house, which was 
close by. This structure was just then being availed 
of in every possible manner for the benefit of the 
neighbourhood. It was, beside being used for school 
purposes, turned into a depot for relief stores, and an 
office for providing Government employment, for any 
that could or would take it. The clerk and his wife 
were employed giving out the food and clothing to 
crowds of applicants, who came all through the day ; 
and it was their duty to inform any able-bodied men 
that appeared in the groups, that they could get 
work at road-makiug, in such and such places, the 
rate of wages, &c., being stated to them. A very 
few, indeed, of the numbers that applied for help 
were of this last class ; inability to labour being well 
marked in the majority of cases ; so that their chief 
occupation was the distribution of the stores. 

The attendance of the children at the school was in 
excess of the average in better times; their want, and 
the supply of food that was given there, driving 
them to it as a means of subsistence. The regular 
work of literary instruction was compelled to be set 
aside, and a new feature was introduced into the edu- 
cational system of Ireland. When Mr. Hartley entered 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


73 


the room in which the juYenUe assembly was usually 
held, he was for some seconds overpowered by the 
fetid exhalation from the inmates, which filled the 
whole apartment, and rendered the atmosphere noxi> 
ous. It was an effort of peculiar difficulty to over- 
come the disgust it excited, and to brave the danger it 
announced. It was fever — perhaps death— to breathe 
it ; and even to a man who had dared cannon-balls, it 
was an unwelcome risk. 

The chiLdi'en were seated round the room in 
ranks, and the exhibition of rags, held together as 
if by a spell, so as to form some attempt at cloth- 
ing, was the first sight that struck the visitor. All 
sorts of garments were in use, and worn as con- 
venience suggested, wholly regardless of their pro- 
per application* Old clothes, that had been sent 
from all parts of the kingdom, were serving the 
purpose of covering, in a manner very different from 
their original design* Necessity had obliterated the 
distinctions of sex, and boys were wearing petti- 
coats, hut betraying their knowledge of their un- 
suitability by gathering up the extra folds into a 
grotesque knot on their backs* Old waistcoats and 
coats were impartially distributed; and skirts and 


74 


ELLEN IIAEEINGTON. 


handkerchiefs were all that some of the girls had on. 
The ecene iiv^onld haye been comic^ if it had not been 
miserable ; and if the cause could have been forgottenj 
the masquerade would have been amusing to a looker- 
on, At a small table in the centre of the room sat 
Ellen Harrington, so busily engaged that Mr, Hart- 
ley had full time to observe the whole picture, which 
was presented by the room and its curious collection 
of children, before she noticed him, A heap of 
cotton-thread was before her, which she was dividing 
into skeins, and next it rose a pile of little balls, 
and a lot of small calico-bags. Standing round her 
was a group of youngsters, boj^s and girls, some 
winding cotton, some holding the skeins, and some 
waiting, anxious for their turn to begin similar 
work. Every face in the school beamed with eager 
interest and curiosity, and every eye watched the 
new occupation, with aU the zest of childhood, and 
all the peculiar intelligence of the bright %dvacious 
race to which these little ones belonged. At length 
the girl became aware of the presence of a stranger, 
and she rose, and was deeply affected on perceiving 
that it was the friend who had been so strangely pro- 
^dded in the hour of her bereavement. With a dignity 


ELLEN HARRINGTON, 


75 


and self-control beyond her years, Ellen soon con- 
quered the burst of natural emotion that seized her at 
the sight of Mr, Hartley ; and she was able to give him 
an account of all that had occurred since he was last 
at 0 — , To her the events of the past two weeks made 
a crisis, which fixed her fate to be one of entire self-de- 
pendence for the future. She spoke of it as such, 
and, with calm simplicity, announced her determina- 
tion to accept no help from her late aunt's brother-in- 
law, He has quite enough to do to keep his own 
family/' she said; ^^and I am well able to earn my 
bread, and shall do so, in some way or other," 

She added this, with innocent confidence in her 
own powers, and no distrust of the world, nor dread of 
the obstacles she would probably find in it 

^^See, I've begun already, and you've helped me; 
With some of your five pounds I bought this cotton, 
and I'm about to get the children to make it up into 
crochet edgings, for which I am to pay them so much 
for every dozen yards; and then I am to send the 
edgings into Cork, to a lady there, who will sell them 
for me in England, charging a little more than I pay 
the girls, as a profit for me : so that, if I have a deal 
of work, I shall have a large gain, and get quite rich, 


76 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


and the poor children will be earning a living! Is 
not that good? I^m so very glad to have a chance 
of supporting myself, and of helping many I ’’ 

The prospect that seemed so delightfully hopeful 
to this earnest mind, did not at all present that as- 
pect to her listener ; but not wishing to damp her 
ardour, Mr. Hartley merely replied : — 

‘‘ I not only wish you success, but I will try to 
procure it for you. Here is another five pounds 
to help you to pay your workers. You won^t 
have it ! Pray do take it : — let it be, then, as 
a loan, if you will. I honour your independent 
spirit, but it may become pride if you over-indulge 
it, and hurt your undertaking altogether. Give 
me the address of the lady in Cork ; I am going 
there, and will consult with her as to how you can be 
best assisted.’’ 

In a few days, Mr. Hartley made his appearance 
at the relief school in Cork, and told the foregoing 
particulars of a case already known there, through 
the applications for work, made by the energetic 
heroine of the desolated parish of C — . He also 

entered warmly into the scheme — then in its in- 
fancy — of setting up a regular lace manufacture, for 


ELLEN HAREINGTON. 


77 


the employment of the Irish female poor ; and as his 
ship had made its last Toyage in the relief service^ 
and was about to go on a foreign station, he under- 
took to be a correspondent, and an agent for extend- 
ing the trade of the new establishment. 

From time to time, good orders for laces came 
from friends, interested through his kind mention of 
the effort that was being made ; and he maintained 
a regular intercourse, by letter, with the industrious 
mistress of the crochet school at 


CHAPTER IIL 


In 1850j the “Ladies^ Irish Industrial Society 
made the effort referred to in our introduction. 
They set up a normal lace school in Dublin^ for 
teaching girls to make pillow-laces^ Yalenciennes, 
ilaltese, and English. A good house was taken by 
them in the Irish metropolis, and teachers were 
brought from Belgium, and from England. About 
four-and-twentyiumates were receiyed, youug women 
from different parts of Ireland, and their expenses 
of board and instruction were defrayed from their 
own resources, or by their patrons * 

Ellen Harrington was one of the first applicants 
for admission to this institution, and through the be- 
neyolence of friends, numerously enlisted on her* be- 
half by the kind naval officer, she obtained the means 


Appendix J), 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


79 


of remaming in it^ as long as the Society carried on 
its operations. 

The education provided by this school, went on 
from lace manipulation to the artistic culture of the 
branch of the art of designing connected with it. 
One of the best pupils in this class was Ellen Har- 
rington. Her proficiency was so great, that when the 
committee decided on abandoning their undertaking, 
and giving up the Normal Lace School, it was 
thought so great a pity to check the promising career 
of such a genius as the girl developed, that she was 
sent to the Kensiugton School of Art, in order 
to continue her course of study, through the 
whole curriculum of the Government School of De- 
sign. 

Ellen Har ringtones progress there was highly sa- 
tisfactory. She became an artist and a lady, in the 
true sense of both words. Her drawing entitled her 
to certificates of merit, and allowances of money, 
which gave her means to pursue her student life. 

It was a great pleasure to the friends who had 
placed her in a position of singular difficulty and 
trial, that her associations in London were all that 
could he desired for her ; and that her virtuous life 


80 


ELLEN HAKEINGTON. 


vindicated their confidence in the purity that resides 
with honourable industry. Her genuine piety was 
recognised by those with whom she hved ; and her 
faculty for art, and diligent and laborious exertion to 
utilize itj were known and respected by her teachers. 

About this period of her historj^ there is little to 
be said. 

In the midst of the great city full of homesj the 
lonely girl lived a stranger's life. It was cheering to 
hear that she was progressing towards a competent in- 
come ; though it was not by the means that her friends 
intended her to use. Instead of learning to design 
for the lace which had employed her earliest powers^ 
she became a teacher of drawing. It was very desolate^ 
that dull routine of existence — from the easel at 
Kensingtonj to the daily lesson in the rudiments of 
drawings given for bread, at the strain of every nerve 
and muscle, long walks, and long fasts, done to 
economize money, and cheap lodgings and isolation, 
submitted to to secure savings for rainy days ! She 
had few acquaintances in the wide, wide world of 
London, and no sympathisers* When a famihar 
face from her native land beamed upon her soli- 
tude, it was greeted with showers of tears, which 


ELLEN HAEKINGTON* 


81 


rainbowed ber dimmed prospects of pleasure and 

joy* 

It is not a little remarkabloj that the warm-hearted 
Irish girl was OYer four years in England^ and yet 
was not absorbed into any social circle. There 
was some of the pride of connection with an upper 
class of society^ in the cause that withheld her from 
mixing with the people with whom she came 
into contact; and there was a characteristic re- 
serve, and a delicacy of mind, which refined her 
above the tone of the community in which she was 
domesticated. EUen Harrington^s case, though a 
triumph as regards the scheme by which she was 
elevated, and though perfectly successful as an un- 
dertaking for self-support, did not, as an experiment, 
realize the important residt of securing a competent 
lace designer for the peculiar manufactures of Ire- 
land ; and it furnished a proof that the schools in 
which she acquired her art education, afforded no 
facilities for her object. Her Irish friends, knowing 
that she had the proclivities of her country-women 
for emigration, were not surprised when she wrote to 
them to say, that she had a wish to go to the colonies, 
under Miss Eye^s protection ; and they prepared to 


G 


82 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


enable her to do so as comfortably as possible. The 
arrangements for her voyage to New Zealand were 
nearly completed, and she had written affectionate 
farewells to all to whom her heart owed them, when 
an event occurred that changed the whole current of 
her feelings. 

There was great excuse for this apparent fickle- 
ness. Only those whose attachments have been 
often riven from their holdings, can estimate the 
terrible trials that Ellen Harrington had to endure 
from time to time. Her early afflictions were fol- 
lowed up by blows and shocks of the severest kind. 
One by one, her loved ones had gone beyond her 
reach, and communication with them was cut off, leav- 
ing her to mourn, in utter desolation, her friendless 
position. Some had crossed the Jordan, and were gone 
the journey from which no traveller returns and 
among these was Lieutenant Hartley. Of her con- 
nections by relationship she knew very little, and the 
willing, but unavailable friendship of Mr. Frank Long- 
wood was also early terminated by death. The school- 
master of C — , and his wife and family, had emigrated 
to America, and no tie bound Ellen to the objects 


ELLEN IIARKINGTOK. 


83 


01 her earliest aliectionSj save the bond of cherished 
memories* 

After Ellen Harrington went to the Dublin 
Kormal Lace School, the Crochet School at 0 — - 
was carried on under the management of the 
parish schoolmistress. Very good common articleSj 
such as plain collars, and edgings of the simple, regu- 
lar patterns, were produced there ; and it continued 
tributaiy to the parent institution for a long time. 
The connection between this depot, and its county 
branches, was kept up with mutual advantage ; the 
village schools were instructed by the samples sent 
to be copied, and supported by the orders, forwarded 
them for supplying specified quantities of goods ; and 
the central establishment derived an income from a 
discount charged for the service which it rendered 
under this arrangement* 

Communication was maintained by weekly trans- 
mission of work from the country, and return of cash 
from the depot to its rural dependants; but occa- 
sionally an interview between the corresponding 
parties was required, for the purpose of having a per- 
fect understanding of the business details; and in 


84 


ELL75N HARRINGTON* 


this cas6j an intelligent girl was generally sent into 
town, and lodging was provided for her in the 
School- house, where she supported herself during the 
time that it was found necessary to have her under in- 
struction* By means of such an arrangement as 
this, the knowledge of the lace- work was extensively 
spread throughout the south of Ireland ; and among 
the many interesting settlements made, the little 
school at C~ was not the least important* Its 
history includes some rare instances of individual 
exertion, and some facts that strikingly illustrate the 
peculiarities of the country* 

The depopulation of this neighbourhood, which 
occurred in 1849 and 1850, seemed to sweep away 
the bulk of the labouring poor, and the inhabitants 
that survived the calamities of those years, were of 
the class that had little holdings of land, and who 
had been capable of more industry, and better situated 
for carrying it out, than the very lowest orders* 
;»liThe girls' that came from time to time, with 
their Mace from C — — were specimens of those 
Anglo-Irish families, out of whose ranks spring 
people that would do credit to any nation* Those 
workers y^ere mostly daughters of men, whose an- 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


85 


oestors had been English colonists^ of the hated 
Croniwelliaii stock. Their names, and the close 
resemblance their habits bear to their kindred on the 
other side of the channel, leave no doubt as to theii' 
relationship, and such residents often characterize 
the districts they inhabit. 

On an average, the 0 — — school was in receipt 
of four or five pounds per week, for its edgings, 
but none of the highest class of laces appeared to thrive 
there. The monotonous row after row of simple 
work, executed exactly to pattern, and sent in regu- 
larly for sale, was all it ever attained ; but this was 
well and profitably done. The qualities of the 
workers were registered in their productions, which 
were of good, value and honest measure, but no taste 
was displayed for the florid, showy style of work, 
that obtained commendation in other localities, and 
into which the makers wrought the images suggested 
by their vivid imaginations and lively passions. 

One of the peculiarities of the crochet productibn 
was, that it seemed to grow under the hands of its 
makers, and to be developed according to their 
intention ; and this intention was truly nature ^s own, 
for there never was a more ungoverned manufacture. 


86 


ELLEN HARRINGTON, 


Given the first idea— the impulse— and provided 
with the implements — the needle and the cotton — 
they ran along, fabricating with amazing speed, and 
weaving a web which exhibited a curious picture of 
their state. Their crude fancies knotted and gnarled 
the thread into shapes so various and extraordinarj^ 
that to examine them became a study — not of lace, 
but of people. Poor little girls! their notions of 
beauty were as rudimentary as those of the early 
races; their efforts were parallel to some that re- 
main on the monuments of Nineveh and Egj^t. 
They seemed, indeed, to begin at the beginning of 
woman^s decorative eonceptions, and unconscionsly 
to produce the same forms that suggested themselves 
to the Babylonians, and to Pharaoh^s daughters, 
ignoring all that subsequent civilizations have done 
for feminine taste. 

This unrestrainedness gave the thing some of its 
most interesting features. The seed was sown broad- 
cast, and the return indicated the nature of the soil 
into which it fell; even the degeneration of the 
growtli into a weed, does not militate against the 
force of its evidence as to the condition and character 
of the ground wherein it fructified. The art was 


ELLEN HAKETNGTON. 


87 


taught herej and there, and everywhere, and those 
who took to it, generally, in a short time, did w^hat 
they liked with it, and then there came up quantities 
of material — not raw, indeed, but dressed into the 
most complicated entanglement of designs, according 
to the degrees of sophistication of the workers. How 
they wearied themselves, to find that which was never 
yet seen under the sun, and how they toiled and 
laboured, to make out a way in which to express theii^ 
sense of the beautiful, is known only to those to 
whom their appeal was familiar, in the constant 
craving for patterns and help. 

During this demand for crochet lace, a girl was 
sent on a message to a lady, who received her in her 
dining room ; the moment she entered the room her 
eyes wandered all over the walls, and she seemed 
entirely forgetful of the presence of the lady, and of 
the errand on which she had come. Her strange 
manner was at first taken for the mere gaze of rustic 
wonderment, and was endured for a few minutes, 
exciting some little amusement ; but when it lasted 
longer than seemed reasonable, and continued in 
spite of attempts to attract the glrFs attention to 
the business in hand, it produced alarm, lest it 


88 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


might be an indication of insanity ; and its persist- 
ence beyond all bounds induced a strong feeling 
that it was dangerous. 

It was necessary to write a note in reply to the 
communication that had been brought, and the lady 
proceeded to do so ; and, in order to do it without 
disturbance, she desired the messenger to wait in 
the hall. With an intensity of fervour that amazed 
her hearer, the girl preferred a request to be allowed 
to stay in the room. The lady, hoping she was 
harmless, though by no means comfortable imder the 
infliction, acquiesced, and went on to indite her 
letter. An exclamation which burst from her com- 
panion, and which sounded very like the rapture of 
an enthusiastic admirer of some scene which gave 
special delight and enjoyment, made her look up. 

The girl was in an ecstasy ; she was engaged in 
copying the arabesques off the wall papering ! 

Utterly unconscious of the attention she was attract- 
ing, the artist went on with her work, and before the 
note was written, she had manipulated a little scroll 
with her needle and thread, and triumphantly pro- 
duced it, declaring that there was money to be made 
out of that 


ELL BN HARRINGTON. 


89 


No lace but this crochet could have been dealt with 
in this manner; all others submit to a certain amount 
of external control, and it is because of its singular 
qualities that we venture to deduct so many infer- 
ences from the vagaries of this species of employment. 
In the process of its dissemination, it was very ob- 
servable that only some hands went to it, as it were, 
naturally. The motions it requires from the muscles 
are the reverse of those used in ordinary sewing ; 

point needlework, ‘‘bobbin tossing’’ on the pillows, 
or other feminine handicrafts ; it is, in fact, a move- 
ment /ro?n the body, not towards it, as in most other 
cases, and this kind of work was not taken up by all 
temperaments and organizations alike. It seemed 
to be appropriated exclusively by some members of 
the Irish family, and to be rejected by the others. 
Some that took it up among the Anglo-Irish treated 
it as the girls at C — did, and kept it within rules 
and restrictions, according to the nature of their 
orderly habits. With them it was simple matter of 
imitative necessity, not of genius and spirit ; it was to 
them a stern business effort, not a wild enterprise, 
and had nothing in it for them but the plain ^rose 
of a commonplace work. To the others, it was a 


90 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


poem wrought with passion, and like the climate of 
the island, ‘Mialf sunshine half tears, it was a 
mingled tale of smiles and sorrow. 

This tale, with all its incidents, cannot even now 
be reduced to the level of ordinary narrative; it 
enters into details of which history generally takes 
no cognizance, and yet, in that not distant day, when 
the distinctive qualities of different races shall be the 
subject of investigation, in their closest minuteness, 
this faculty of Irishwomen will be received in evi- 
dence that will classify their capabilities for taking 
part in the community of labour. 

Among the remarkable attributes of this lace were 
its localization, and the effects of this localization. 
Stitches settled, pitched, rooted themselves, and they 
could not be transplanted. The mode of working in one 
place could not be taught to the girls of another, so as 
to produce quite the same effect*. This was tried with 
great energy and perseverance by the importation of 
workers, but it never succeeded. Each place persis- 
tently kept its own stitch ; in no other neighbourhood 
could the identical turn of the thread, and the exactly 
similar loop, with equal tension or laxity, be pro- 
cured ; and this peculiarity is common to other laces. 


ELLEN IIAERTNGTON. 


91 


There are* stitches in use in many continental locaK- 
tieSj which remain firmly fixed in districts^ and are 
not transmissible ; and the same sort of adhesiveness 
is perceptible also in regard to any designs that are 
developed by untutored workers. Organization, no 
doubt, determines the action of the hand, and neces- 
sarily confines stitches to certain personal conforma- 
tions. * Connections, therefore, easily centralized 
stitches in different circles, and when this was done, 
there came a further effort, which indicated the in- 
fluence of localization in an interesting manner. 
In eombination, the stitches formed a pattern, and 
this pattern became a picture, and this picture was 
nothing more nor less than the characteristics of the 
neighbourhood, as they appeared to the eye of the 
maker. Here, in the small matter of crochet lace, 
the wondrous feminine idiosyncrasy betrayed its 
curious working, and the conception of the mind, 
through the vision, was developed in natural order. 
Crochet was topographical, and described its birth- 
place with a surprising accuracy. That produced in 
the boggy districts was full of minute fibrous ioter- 
lacery, and the specimens from the mountainous. 


Appondix E, 


92 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


rocky places had a peculiar style, which displayed 
some notion of cubic proportions, while the pieces 
fabricated in the soft, damp, watery places of the 
^reen, fresh, vegetative south were overrun with 
flowers and foliage of the most luxuriant variety. 


CHAPTER IV. 


The reports from C to the parent school, 

had much interesting matter in them : they told of 
girls who had realized sums of money sufficient 
to pay passages to America, for themselves and 
their parents; and of others, who had made good 
use of their earnings, in restoring comforts to 
homes that the famine had miserably impoverished. 
Even the little orphan relics of the families, that 
were engulphed in the burial ditch, of which we 
had heard from Lieutenant Hartley, re-appeared 
in those accoimts ; and the names, also, of some 
of the patients for whom Dr. Heligan worked so 
hard, were mentioned sometimes in the payment- 
roll. 

The pleasant record of their industry kept the ' 
memory of this gentleman quite fresh in the minds 
of their friends ; and when, one morning, he was 


94 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


auuounced as a visitor at the relief school, he 
was received as an old acquaintance. 

The conception formed of him, from the descrip- 
tion given by his naval friend, was amply home 
out on personal introduction. Dr. Neligan was no 
easy-going, quiet practitioner, content to be a 
medical stipendiary, and willing to stick to the 
fortunes of his dispensary. 

His rapid sketch of the decline of the whole 
country round about C , was told in a breath : 

‘‘ All the beggars and labourers are cleared away, 
and the decent old farming people, that used to 
be strong and comfortable, are now the poor on 
the road-sides. I got enough of being doctor, cook, 
and undertaker to the lot, and won’t stay to bury 
the second batch. There’s nothing for it but to 
cut and run, while my own shoes are whole. 
Four parsons, three priests, six magistrates, and a 
score of policemen have dropped through ; and only 
that I have nine lives, I’d have laid my bones in that 
same charnel house. As it is, the flesh is worn off 
of me, and I’ve scarcely a suit of clothes to my 
back, or a penny left in my pocket. Fm going to 
America, ..and when I tell you where I’m getting 


ELLEN HAEEINGTOK, 


95 


the waya and means, youll say there are grateful 

hearts in some of the living skeletons at C , 

I gave it out awhile ago, that I was sick and tired 
of my life, and that if I had the price of my passage, 
Pd go to Canada to ray brothers, that are there 
thriving and driving, while slaving and starving ; 
hut I had no notion that any one would take notice 
of my grumbling, WeU, about a week after I 
had said it, as I was eating ray breakfast one 
morning, I was told that two little girls wanted 
to speak to me, and when I went to the door, I 
saw they were some of the crochet workers from 
C * 

' Wliat do you want, coUeens ? ^ said I, and one 
of them, with much blushing and stammering, 
opened a great package which she was carrying, and 
showed me a quantity of lace work, holding out 
piece after piece for me to admire* 

^ WeVe made these for you, sir,^ said she, ^ and 
if you don^t take them from us, it will break our 
hearts, so it will, yer honour/ 

^ Why, what on earth could I do vrith those 
rags, children ? I canH wear them, or eat them,— 
what use are they ? Pont be foolish,— go sell them, 


96 


ELLEN HARRINGTON* 


and buy yourselTos some tea, and haye a rookmmi 
on tbe profits/ 

“ ^ Oh, don*t Laugh at us sir, like that ; but be 
reasonable*, and simple with us* We don't like to 
presume even to offer them to your worship ; but 
there's more value in these ^ rags ' than you'd think* 
They're a fortnight's work from us all, all round ; 
and they wor done with all the veins of our hearts ; 
and if you took what's there to Cork you'd get eight 
pounds for them, and that would be a handful 
towards your passage to America* And ^tisn't that 
we want yer honour to go, or that wo can hear the 
loss of you, at all, at all; though weTl struggle 
through that, plaze God ; for you done enough. 
He knmmf and we're full to the throat when we 
think of it alL We don't want to take any more of 
yer life out of you ; so, go where you'll have plenty, 
and your aise to it ; and well pray that your soul 
may have everlasting satisfaction, in the other 
world, out of all the trouble it had here. And, 
sir, when you're going across the say, we'U give 
you another week's work to take over with you, 
for we hear it's worth double the price in America 
that it is here, and you can sell it there, and it 


ELLBN HA31RINGT0N. 


97 


will help you on your road^ and keep you from 
being beholden to strangerSj until you get to your 
own brother's house,' 

“ Oh, what an offer that was ! No hundred 
pounds of English gold laid in my handj would 
have been equal to the ^rags/ that now out- 
shone diamonds to me [ I don't know how I answered 
in words, but I acted like a baby, and found myself 
hugging the bundle, when the girls left me to myself, 
I was not long in coming off here, for I'll take the 
venture, and if these ^ rags ' turn into a trade for me, 
those that gave me my first stock, shall be no losers. 
So, here goes, ^ to throw physic to the dogs,' where 
it threw me ; and to take up a pack and travel the 
world ! A pedlar's life is better than a profession 
that keeps a man on the verge of the grave aU his 
days," 

And so. Dr, Nehgan became a lace merchant ! 

His change of occupation was by no means a mis- 
take, nor did it fail as a speculation. He entered on 
the branch of tlie lace trade, which Irish female 
industry had added to the world of commerce, just as it 
tv^as opening its largest field, and in it he had the 
ability and opportunity to make a good standing, 

H 


98 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


America was at this time a great market for 
crochet, and Dr. Neligan went over there with a very 
considerable stock. He had great success in dis- 
posing of it, and in making an extensive connec- 
tion, which finally formed a lucrative business for 
him. The export of Irish lace to America became a 
very important matter from that time forward. 
Some £4000 per annum, was said to have been paid 
to different schools by this one dealer and ex-physi- 
cian, who embarked impromptu in the trade ! 

The little girls at C — had no cause to regret their 
generosity. Dr. Neligan repaid them, with interest 
upon interest ; and they and he had a deep mutual 
satisfaction in the interchange of beneficial commu- 
nications. He worked for them, and they worked 
for him ; and never, probably, was a truer link forged 
between fellow-sufferers, than this most humane 
commerce made into an elastic chain, binding to- 
gether inseparably those whom no distance could 
detach. Wherever there was a sale for the com- 
modity, Dr. Neligan pushed it. Far and near he 
was heard of as the most indefatigable labourer in 
the business. He did it con amove; ‘‘for life and 
country,'^ might well be his motto, and if he 


7 


} ) I ] > 

j j > 

> J > > 3 


>>>>>>> 3 


ELLEN HAKHI?jGXON-> . , . ^ 

•>»3> ) *>»3 » >> ■> > >*’ >,, 


do not quarter some such memento of his achievement 
on the armorial bearings of his family, yet the heraldry 
of gratitude will tell how honourably he won his 
spurs, in the cause of the poor Irishwoman’s industry. 

But not even his great energy, nor the almost 
superhuman exertions of the anxious workers, could 
sustain the trade beyond the ordinary length of a 
fashion. The girls wrought in patient submission, 
while prices rose, culminated, and fell ; and they con- 
tinued hoping against hope, as the worth of their 
labour declined, that the demand for the fabric would 
return. They, poor, ignorant creatures, had no idea 
of the odds against which they were working ; and 
they are, to this moment, as little aware of the 
cause of the utter cessation of sale for their goods, as 
they are of the scientific explanation of the potato 
blight. The conduct that they pursued, with regard 
to the occupation that had been, for so long a time, 
a source of profit to them, was very similar to that of 
their male relatives, with regard to the crop that 
used to procure them their living. Both parties ob- 
stinately clung to the belief, that each returning 
season would restore their resources as bountifully as 
formerly. They continued to plant, and to crochet, 


i * f ( C t ( ( i ‘ , (( I i t t t ( 

t « « t t C ‘ , C t t f 

' '■ t / c t t < 

too , < , , EU.?!n' HARRINGTON. 

• ; ‘ ; ‘ ^ f j I 

— r-I,,...,^. ^ c_x^ — 

in faith and confidence ; and no disappointments dis- 
suaded them from their fruitless speculations. 

Potato gardens sown year by year, in spite of 
warning of disease, and dug in sorrow and regret, 
were in mournful harmony with the habits of those 
who persisted, against all discouragements, in making 
lace to sell at a price that did not replace the cost 
of the raw material. It was a kind of natural game of 
hazard in which they were engaged ; and it could 
only be terminated by the conversion of their foolish- 
ness into that wisdom which is derived from ex- 
perience alone. 

For a couple of years nothing was heard of Dr. 
Neligan; and then news came that he was in 
Australia, sheep farming. A letter from him, from 
his distant station, came to an Emigration Society in 
his native land, giving most interesting information, 
and valuable advice, concerning the sending out of 
women to the colonies ; and with his help many 
girls were transferred to the IsTew World, and assisted 
to make homes in a country where famine is un- 
known. 

To a man who has passed many years in a remote 
part of Ireland, the hardship of Kving in the bush 


ELLBN HAHTUNGTON. 


101 


must he, in some measure, lessened by the fact of 
its not being very much more riidimontary than the 
condition out of whicli he came. Dr* Neligan's 
description of pastoral life in Australia formed an 
amusing parallel to that which he had led at C — . 
With regard to domestic arrangements, the compari- 
son was greatly in favour of the colonial system of 
management. 

Out here/^ wrote he, money brings all the 
appliances of civilized housekeeping, and invention 
fits them to the circumstances of our case. We 
have here contrivances that procure us every pos- 
sible comfort. If a man but work for the means, 
he can have brought to his hand, in this remote 
region, all the luxuries that modern science has dis- 
covered. I often contrast this land of abundance? 
and of trained, educated labour, with the conotiy— 
destitute of resources, intelligence, and energy — ^that 
I left. Poor C— ! its shores imfished, its mines 
unexplored, its soil untilled ! I declare, even money 
was not of the ordinary use tlxere. I have a painful 
memory of the difficulty of living like a human being 
in that out skirt of creation. It is said, that, when 
the Creator was making the world, he threw his 


102 


ELLEX HAimiXGTOX. 


waste materials on the west coast of Ireland ; and I 
believe some such thing must have occurred to ac- 
count for the condition of the place. But, whatever 
the formation may be, man has done nothing to make 
it better for himself. The race inhabiting it in my 
time, was so far from being domesticated that it was 
not even a cooking animal, and could neither prepare 
its own victuals, nor construct its own dwellings, so 
as to favour its own interest. The aborigines here 
are no more helpless than the Irish pauj^ers. Saxon 
powers are doing greater things in this region, 
in months, than they have been able to accom- 
plish in Ireland in centuries. I protest that no 
Australian savage would be more imzzled to know 
how to make a five-pound note supply the unknown 
necessities of a distressed multitude, than Ellen 
Harrington and myself were, when the Englishman 
gave her one, at the time that Mrs. Longwood died. 

I’m sure I didn’t know what to do with it. We had 
plenty of materials for nourishment and clothing, but 
the power of converting them into an available state 
was unattainable. 

‘‘ It is, to me, one of the inscrutable mysteries of 
Providence that women should have been endowed 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


103 


with gifts to make lace and not bread ! Let none of 
that sort of people come here. Those so curtailed of 
feminine talents had better stay where the exchange 
is near enough to change their produce into bread 
so quickly as to keep them from hunger.’’ 

These considerations were very rational, and syn- 
chronised with an instinct that acted in connection 
with the emigration tendency. Crochet workers emi- 
grated extensively. Every farthing that they could 
spare from the pressing necessity of the passing hour, 
was saved for this purpose. The barest modicum of 
food, and the smallest possible exiienditure in clothing, 
sufficed for them. They mortified every present de- ' 
sire for enjoyment in order to hoard for the one object 
— to leave the country ! It was the old tale ; they had 
heard that there was bread in America, and, like the 
seed of Israel going up from their Canaan — their 
Erin, dear as it was, they would forsake for this land 
flowing with plenty. They did not select Australia 
Felix for their exodus, they stuck to the nearer con- 
tinent. It was at hand, they could pay the passage 
money more easily, and get there sooner ; but this 
was not all; their ‘^people” were there, and their 
drift lay in that direction. However difficult of ex- 


104 


ELLEJJ HARllINGTON. 


plana ti on this peculiarity may bCj it was like the lace 
cause, an independent free agency, and had its special 
results, immodified by the interference of any control 
whatsoever. The attempt to get an answer from any 
of the intending emigrants, for the hope that was in 
them, that life in America would be better or happier 
than in Ireland, was vain. They went across the 
Atlantic in blind obedience to a vague impulse, and 
who shall say that it was not a guidance as divine as 
it has proved felicitous ? 

Lacemakers, to a woman, made for America ; 
and in America they and their generations will 
be found, rising probably to wealth and station, 
but never forming a domestw community, nor emu- 
lating the distinctive peculiarities of the race with 
which they have been so long connected, and by 
which they have been so slightly influenced* 

American peculiarities are coming out just now in 
extraordinary vigour* How much of them are due 
to the Irish element, tempered by climate and cir- 
cumstances, it would not be easy to determine ; 
but that, to a very considerable extent, these are 
working in the United States is an acknowledged 
fact. And since woman — the mother and the home- 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


105 


ruler — must affect every commonwealtli, that of 
America cannot escape the influence of those who, 
whether they made lace or not, have in them that 
nature, to some of the peculiarities of which we may 
find a clue among the tangled threads of crochet 
work. 


CHAPTER V. 


Dr. Neligan’s adventures were not ended when he 
wrote the letter from which we have quoted ; and 
the next we heard of him, was at the International 
Exhibition of 1862 . 

People come to and fro, now-a-days, so easily from 
the antipodes, that one is no more surprised to meet 
friends from the Cannibal Islands, in London, than 
to encounter their neighbours on roadside paths 
near their own homes ! Tom Neligan had so strong 
a sense of this, that he made the voyage from 
Australia to England with a feeling of pleasurable 
anticiiDation at the idea of all the familiar faces 
that would greet him, and of all the friendly 
hands that he should clasj in the Great Fair to 
which he and all the world were gathering ! 
In his glowing imagination, he pictured his Irish 
relatives and connections enjoying the spectacle he 


EI.LEN HARKINGTON. 


107 


was about to visit, and he revelled in the thought of 

f 

encountering them, when they were perhaps assem- 
bled in parties, or of suddenly meeting them singly 
in the courts and aisles of the Palace of Industry. 
How they would exclaim ! And how delighted he 
should be ! The very idea was refreshing to his warm 
heart. Sometimes he speculated on seeing some per- 
sons from the old country, whose looks should betray 
that the famine was not yet quite gone ; and in whose 
system a few lingering symptoms of the recent plague 
of poverty remained ; then, he charmed himself with 
the thought, that he carried a remedy in his pocket 
now, which would cure the comi)laint that he so well 
understood. 

I’ll pay their way out to Australia, and make 
men of them, and every man shall bring his wife ; and 
that will serve us aU every way ; and if I can’t tempt a 
nice girl to come back with me, I’m not Tom Neligan.” 
The metropolis of the mother country was not at 
all new to Dr. Neligan, and so recently had he been 
in it, that no very great novelty was presented to him 
ill his walks about its streets. But the familiarity 
of the scenes and the objects in them, had no attrac- 
tive influence for him. No afiection was connected 


108 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


with anything he saw ; and, alas ! all his expecta- 
tions of happy re-unions with loved associates were 
utterly unfulfilled. 

He wandered many days about the Exhibition, and 
never once found a face that he recognized among 
the multitudes of people that he met. The sensations 
of astonishment and admiration that he experienced, 
at the first sight, of all the wonders there, kept him, for 
awhile, from keenly feeling his disappointment ; but 
as soon as the novelty of the scene wore off, he felt 
the pang of the privation of companionship most 
sorely — the blighting of his cherished hopes. 

The gorgeous display ceased to dazzle and confound 
his emotions; the riches, and treasures of art, the 
wonders of mechanism, and the beauty of imagery, 
palled on him. He longed more fervently than ever 
for a congenial soul to sympathize with him ; and in 
a paroxysm of genuine grief, he turned his back, one 
day, on all the splendour before him, and threatened 
himself with going back in the next ship, for a pun- 
ishment for being so silly as to think that everj’'- 
one was, like him, ^‘making money with one hand 
and spending it with the other.*’ 

Dickens’s connection of the employment of a 


EXJ.EN HAHRXKGTOr. 


109 


toll collector with imsanthropical sentiirientSj bad 
always amused Neligan ; and, with this fancy 
now in his mindj he wondered mnchj whether 
the men who guarded the turnstiles at the entrance 
of the Exhibitionj did not entertain gloomy Tiews 
of society. With a complete revolution of feel- 
ing, he began to imagine that he shonld like to 
have a chance of cultivating those exciting sensa- 
tions — malice and hatred, and of indulging them by 
getting some post which would enable him to make 
the duty of paying tolls and taxes as irksome as 
possible to those whom it might concern, 

would give a man a nice opportunity of being 
hard on a world that is hard enough to forget him, I 
wish some way of getting into a row respectably was 
open to me this minute ! The end of a quarrel is 
always the beginning of the best of good fellowship. 
The worst of these English peojxle at home is, that 
they are so slow to say a friendly word ; they don’t 
understand the thing, when a man is trailing his 
coat after him to get up a fight ! ” 

Soliloquizing in this manner, our traveller pur- 
sued his course along Piccadilly, and became more 
and more dangerously irascible as he proceeded* 


no 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


Every one that brushed past him excited his ill- 
temper ; and, in no very amiable mood, he took his 
place in an omnibus to return to his hotel in the city. 
The conveyance was so nearly full when he entered 
it, that it was with some difficulty he found a seat, 
and when a lady got in immediately after, he felt 
impelled to go on the outside, and let her have the 
space that he had just secured. 

The recent endeavour to stifle his good nature had 
not yet begun to cause him to forget a chivalric re- 
gard for women ; and it was with true gallantry he 
rose to ofier his place on this occasion to a fellow- 
creature of this sex. ' 

The lady in question was tall, and closely veiled, her 
figure was slight, and voluminously draped in sombre 
garments. He could not observe whether she was 
young, old, handsome, or ugly, but he had a sudden 
sensation that it was not the first time he had seen 
her. Eyes do not alter with time and age, although 
their setting may become corrugated and discoloured; 
they betray resemblances that other features lose; and 
the eyes that now gleamed on our Doctor awoke 
strange memories that he felt through his tingling 
nerves while he mounted the ’bus. As he sat on the 


ELLEN HARRINGTON. 


Ill 


roof and rode along, he chased the clue of remem- 
brance through a chain of recollections, until he 
arrived at a certainty as to the identity of the fair 
one, he had thus, in a manner, captured : — 

^‘She sha’n’t escape me,^^ said he to himself. 
Every time any of the interior passengers were set 
down, he watched them, and when the object of his 
special interest alighted at Chancery Lane, he got 
down, and followed her up that celebrated thorough- 
fare. He could easily, at any moment, have come up 
with her, passed her by, and beaten her best paces ; 
but that indefinable sensation withheld him, which 
makes the boldest man timid in addressing a woman 
who always retains the sanctity of her sex. Along 
Searle Street, and into Portugal Street, he walked 
after her, step by step ; and when, at length, she paused 
at the ofiice of the ‘‘ Female Emigration Society,^’ it 
was with mingled feelings of reluctance and desire to 
attract her attention, that Neligan put himself in her 
way, as she was about to enter its door. — Ellen! — 
Miss Harrington I ” 

Dr. Neligan!^^ — 

The disjointed exclamations that followed these 
words of recognition may be imagined. The 


112 


ELLEN HARRINGTON* 


pleasure of the meeting wm mutually oYerwhelm- 
ing. 

The ^^interestingj educated, lady-Kke, middle- 
class'^ emigrant, did not make her appearance that 
day at the time directed by hliss Eye* Instead of 
having an interview with the good ladies who were 
about to provide her with an introduction to colonial 
. life, Ellen Harrington passed an hour with her hand 
under Dr* Neligan's arm, wandering about Lin- 
coln's Inn. 

“ I'm due at ■ — ~ Square to give Miss — a draw- 
ing lesson at three o'clock, she said : I’m sure 

you will not ask me to disappoint this kind friend 
and pupih'”^. 

Well, not if you press it; but I insist that it 
shall be the last lesson yon give in this way* It 
is hard to part with you, even for a moment, 
now ; but you are as right, and as good as ever* Go ; 
—and to-morrow we shall meet, and every arrange- 
ment shall be completed, to prevent anything sepa- 
rating ns again." 

Whether they were married on the next day, or 
on the following, is not known, but the ceremony was 
certainly performed as soon as it possibly could* 


ELLEN HARRINGTON, 


113 


The outfit provided for Ellen Harrington’s emi- 
gration, under the care of the valuable Emigration 
Society, enabled her to proceed without delay, and 
in much comfort, with her husband to his distant 
home. 


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©statt 


CHAPTER I. 


Five- AND -THIRTY years ago, in the town of Kildine, 
on the day before the opening of the Spring Assi- 
zes, a handsome, family, travelling carriage and 
four dashed into the narrow streets of the old 
borough, and drew up at its head inn. This was the 
equipage of the High Sheriff of the county, and 
it was bringing him with his wife, and two 
daughters, to town, to take their places, as leading 
personages, in their respective positions, in the com- 
ing assize-doings. 

- The High Sheriff had been M.P. for the coimty 
some years before, and was a man of influence in 
society, not from his personal talents, but from his 
pedigree and possessions. He may well be intro- 



118 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


duced as a very fair specimen of the Irish gentry of 
his day ; he was one of a class that included within 
its bounds a large proportion of the owners of the 
soil, in every county in Ireland. • 

John Fitzwalter, Esq., was no exceptional cha- 
racter, nor did the state of his affairs form an extra- 
ordinary case. The style of living he kept up was 
common, in the social sphere to which he belonged, 
and his circumstances and conduct represented those 
of his fellow countrymen in his own rank of life. 
The time at which we are looking back was in the days 
of travelling by post, the age before railways and 
telegraphs — those mighty agents that have altered 
the character of the world ! The cattle along most 
Irish roads were very good, but relays had some- 
times to be provided from the private resources of the 
travelling party. It was so on the occasion to which 
we refer ; the Fitz waiters drove their own horses all 
through the journey ; and, at the last stage, had four 
greys waiting for them, in order to enter Kildine 
with a splash, and excite some Mat, They accom- 
plished their wish, and attracted a considerable 
amount of observation ; but it is questionable 
whether the exhibition had the desired effect on the 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


119 


public. Even at that period, it was beginning to be 
popularly known, that the magnificence and display 
of the aristocracy of Ireland, were in excess of their 
income. The nature of their wealth was already 
pretty generally understood, and there remained few 
on whom the most lavish expenditure could impose, 
or impress with the idea that solid riches were 
associated with it. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwalter and their daughters, 
Catherine and Jlargaret, both the latter being very 
young girls, neither having attained the maturity of 
seventeen years, had not any idea that their preten- 
tious arrival at ‘‘the Hibernia’’ gave subject for more 
speculation than admiration. Their steaming, pranc- 
ing horses, their men-servants in handsome liveries, 
and their maid-servants, two of whom were mounted 
outside, made a “ turn-out ” which seemed to indicate 
station and importance, and which was calculated to 
mislead any person uninitiated into the mysteries of 
Irish life. 

The High Sheriff found the “Sub” waiting to 
receive him, and anxious to have some conversation 
with him. As soon as he had conducted his wife 
and daughters to the apartments prepared for them. 


120 


THE REDEEMED BSTA^IT., 


lie announced his intention of dining at the club, 
and directed that dinner should be served to Mrs, 
Fitz waiter and the young ladies immediately* 

“ It is not too late for shopping, Elizabeth/^ he 
said to his wife, “ and if you and the girls are not tired 
you might see after your hall dresses. Don’t spare 
a pound or so to make yonrselves look creditable*” 
This considerate advice set the young ladies in 
high spirits ; and they could not control their desire 
to begin the pleasing preparations for their first 
ball* Not so the mother, who pleaded fatigue, and 
sat silent and thoughtful, listening to the girls^ 
raptures with an ill- concealed malake and distrac- 
tion : — 

My dear children, mind whal I am going to say, 
if yon are not too wild to think of anything but 
partners and dancing. It is out of the question 
going out this afternoon, to buy the little things we 
want for our dresses.” 

“ Little things for our dresses ? Why, mamma, 
we want the dresses themselves ! You can’t mean us 
to go in those shabby white frocks P’ exclaimed both 
the girls in a breath* 

I do mean it, <lears. I am veiy sorry indeed. 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


121 


bitterly sorry — no one knows how keenly I feel it — 
but it must be so.^’ 

But, papa said — 

Oh, yes, I know what he said, he is very kind, 
and wishes to please us ; but there is a reason why 
we should deny oxirselves this gratification of our 
taste. I cannot tell it now to you, my darlings, but 
some day you will know it ; and it will justify my 
seeming harshness. You will be glad of your for- 
bearance — trust me 

Well, mamma, if you speak in that solemn way, 
you must be obeyed; and we will say no more 
about it.^’ 

There, I felt sure of my daughters^ confidence 
in my judgment ; and now, loves, we shall just try 
to be contented in our old dresses. Remember they 
are by no means disrespectable. Those frocks of 
yours are Indian work, and cost a very large sum. 
Very few young ladies will be at the baU with such 
expensive or such becoming garments. Age does 
not render such dresses less valuable ; in fact, it en- 
hances their worth, especially when they are so well 
preserved as yours are.’’ 

Thanks to the exquisite darning, that you made 


122 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


US practise on them, mother, dear* At all events, 
there will not be girls in the room who have put 
more stitches in their clothes than we have,^^ 

And probably none who know how to do it so 
well. You have been dihgent and industrious, and it 
will be well for you, perhaps, that you have cultivated 
your needlework skill* It was the thing I learned 
best in my early days ; I had little talent for any- 
thing else ; and when I was sent to France to school, 
the turn I had for work was so remarkable, that 
the nuns kept me at it constantly. Have you seen my 
old lace trimming? IVe repaired it most beautifully 
—you could not tell where the rents were, and I’ve 
added lovely little scraps of my own manufacture, 
as good as the real * point (h VeniseJ I am quite 
proud of it, I assure you* Oh, we shall look very 
grand ! My lace is fabulously old — of a very rare 
sort* It is known to have belonged to my grand- 
mother, the Duchess of Beaiifield, and will show mag- 
nificently on my black velvet dress. After all, no style 
of dress is so elegant as that which consists in wear- 
ing standard articles, of ascertained worth ; none 
but the veiy upper classes can have them, and only 
really educated ladies can appreciate them* You 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


123 


Will find, when you mix with many circles of society, 
that your laces will be marvellously admired, by all 
whose taste is worth consulting/^ 

"While the mother was consoHng her pretty 
daughters, the three pairs of hands were industriously 
employed, as it was their habit to be* 

They were busy at an occupation that cheap hosiery 
has now almost put out of date* Each had a stock- 
ing under repair, and their texture announced an 
age when women knitted cobwebs. A spider might 
have spun the silk of which they were made, and the 
menders, in this ease, were as dexterous as the fabri- 
cators. 

The hours went on towards bed- time ; and they 
had worn the subject of the coming ball thread-bare, 
as well as finished their “ grafting/^ and were talk- 
ing of sleep, when Mr* Horace Fitz waiter, the 
brother of the High Sheriff, was announced* 

Catherine and Margaret sprang up to greet 
Uncle Horry with enthusiasm, but the mother 
received him with greater quietude and decorum. 
He embraced his nieces warmly, and kissed his 
sister-in-law's cheek with affection and respect* 

So, Elizabeth, youVe come to town to get rid of 


124 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


your daugliters. Grirls^ don^t be too hard to be 
pleased, or fellows will turn into old bachelors, 
like 

Children, don’t mind uncle Horace,” said the 
wary mother, ^*he’d put all sorts of nonsense into 
your beads, I’m sorry be came so late, for you 
really must go to bed, and get rest after your long 
drive.” 

Yes, do, Kttle ones, and keep your roses fresh for 
to-morrow night; and I’ll come in the morn- 
ing and help to get you ready for the fray. 
We shall be at work all day — arming at all 
points for conquest. Well, Katy, who is it to be P 
First or last partner — which ? As to you, Maggy, 
my opiniou is, you’re already settled for — a certain 
dark, taU dragoon has been naming my sweet niece 
too often to leave me in ignorance of his views— 
blushing ! — come I’ll tell no tales/’ 

Go, girls, pray go ! Horace, don’t be silly ; let 
them be ofiF, like a good feUow, and sit awhile with 
me, I want to speak to you/’ 

The door opening, and the good-night” of the 
uncle and nieces, were almost a game of romps. 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


125 


Mrs. Fitzwalter looked on with a calm seriousness 
that, at length, arrested Mr. Horace’s attention. 

When the girls were fairly gone, he turned with 
perfect sobriety of manner, and in a very sympathiz- 
ing tone said. 

Sister, you are too low, how is this ? Are you 

m?” 

At heart, Horace. How can I be otherwise, 
knowing all I do of our affairs ? Would you believe 
it, this very evening, John’s last words were to direct 
us to get new ball-di’esses P as if we dared, or could, 
under present circumstances.” 

‘‘ Oh, that’s his game, is it ? He wants to keep up 
the sham as long as possible. You could easily have 
them ; the credit is good for awhile longer, and you 
and the girls may as well get all you can out of the 
wreck. It will be time enough for you, women, to 
suffer, when the pinch really comes. I am the only 
one in the fire at present, and I’m regularly wound 
up. I have no credit — never had. The nature of 
my charge on the estate, is as well known, in its 
length and breadth, as a man’s name. Every one 
knows what it is worth — not a groat, not a stiver ! 


126 


THE EEDEEMED ESTATE. 


It never was a real settlementj for my father had no 
personalty to settle, and no power to put a charge 
on the estate, so that deed of his is so much waste 
paper. John, certainly, has not attempted to claim 
exemption from its payment, he used to honour my 
draft very punctually; but he has been failing 
me of late, and I've had to live in a way I don't 
like. My circumstances are the most critical of any 
member of the family, for I'm this minute without 
house, or home, or a penny in my pocket — faith, I 
don't know how I get along at aH! Only for 
the luck I have at play, I'd be in quod now. What 
made you let John go to the club, to-night? If he has 
any loose cash they'll ease him of it. There's a bad 
lot there." 

I'm sure, I could not help his going," said the 
sad wife, looking woefully at the dying embers in the 
fire-grate, “he was off with Mr. Townley the moment 
we arrived." 

That is a great rascal, and will soak that fool of 
oura through in an hour, while he, himself, will he 
as cool as a cucumber, and will bet, and win, with 
the steadiness of a judge. If he is not in league with 
the enemy, I'm a fool ! 


THE KEDEEMED ESTATE. 


127 


Biitj Horace* is there nothing we can do to meet 
our difficulties ? ” 

Elizabeth* how easily you put the case* for a 
woman that thoroughly understands it — ^ diffieultiesr 
that is no word for our circumstances. We are in 
tkefixih.^^X nothing can ever set right. Our affairs 
are past extrication. There is no use in cloaking the 
matter from ourselves. You and I are forced to 
stare it in the face* and to watch for* and wait, 
and suffer* a fate we cannot avert* I have done with 
disguises and fictions with you. It is of no use 
hiding our* feelings from each other. You are 
not one of those soft geese that a man is afraid 
to hurt, for fear you^d go off in hysterics. John 
must come to plain talk with you. He has carried 
too high a hand, and been far too imperious. I 
came to say something to you to-night* and it is 
this — whisper* coma very close to me, for these 
walls are only wainscotted ; there is nothing for John 
and me — for all your sakes* — ^but — I hope youll hear 
it* Elizabeth, like what you are* a true-hearted, brave 
woman~it is oui' sole resource ; we must do it* and 
that at once.^^ 

Breathless, the poor trembling Mrs. Eitz waiter 


128 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


hung on his words, with quivering lips, and uttered, 
‘‘ What must it he ? Oh, tell me, Horace ?” 

And her heart beat in terror lest it should be some 
unheard of horror. 

‘‘ I hate to break it to you,^^ he said, but it must 
be done — flight is our only hope ! 

Mrs. Fitz waiter did not seem so very much sur- 
prised as might be expected. She had some know- 
ledge of the expedient. It was not a very uncom- 
mon one; some of her country neighbours had 
already availed themselves of it, and that her hus- 
band^s turn might come to require such a proceeding 
was not distant from her imagination. 

Is there any immediate reason for his absence,^^ 
she said. 

Judge for yourself,’’ replied her brother-in-law, 
handing her a letter. 

While she read, the face of the strong, resolute 
woman became almost rigid, and she returned the 
document, and maintained a silence more expressive 
of her deep distress than any words could have been. 

He cannot go too soon, now,” she groaned at last. 
‘‘ Oh, Horace, where is he ? perhaps taken ? My 
children, my children ! Poor girls ! And that ill- 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


129 


reared, boy ! Oh^ Horace, wbat must they do ? What 
shall I do ? I can^t leaye them, and yet must I not go 
with 

“No, indeed, Elizabeth, nothing of the kind! 
You must stay and keep possession* You are the first 
claimant on the property — jointures go before all 
debts. Whoever seizes, must first settle with you. 
Don^t forego a halfpenny, there^s nothing else for 
you and the children to live on/^ 

“Horace, Horace! there is not even that, it is mort- 
gaged these five years*^^ 

“ Oh, woman ! what do you tell me ? 

“ Just this— I gave it up when that Sullivan was so 
clamorous, and John raised as much on it as saved 
him, hitherto, from that claim 

“ Fool ! dolt ! idiot ! blunderer ! and worse too, 
to cut the ground from under his family^s feet. 
What made you consent ? How dared yon have for- 
gotten your children's interest ? This is, indeed, a 
pretty mess ! I never for a moment counted on 
such a misfortune ! It changes the whole colour of 
my plot. I calculated on your having that provi- 
sion safe in hand, and thought of your paying my 
little score, and setting my ^ corpus^ at Hberty, 

K 


130 


THE KEHET5MED ESTATE. 


that I might help you to hold out at Knocklasli. 
TfoWj that hope is cut off. John and I must go 
together ; and after hearing of his villanyj I don^t 
care if I never saw his face/^ 

“ Stop, Horace, I hear his step ! 

And at the moment, Mr. Fitzwalter entered the 
room. 

Although both his wife and his hr other felt deeplj^ 
incensed against him, they were relieved to see him, 
for both believed that the sub* sheriff had been lead- 
ing him into a trap. 

There was no disguise any longer necessary between 
these three. 

Mrs, Fitzwalter felt herself and her children out- 
rageously injured, and she showed it, like a woman, 
for she hurst out into a tremendous passion. 

Nothing that the two men could say pacified her. 
She strode up and down the apartment in Anguish of 
mind, and vented her bitterness in hot, impassioned 
words of wrath at her husband : — 

"" Begone,” she cried, leave ns as youVe made us 
—beggars. Go, where we may see you no more ! My 
children and I will hide onr heads in the Poor-house, 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


131 


and your name will end — where it ought — among 
paupers ! Oh she groaned, between her teeth, to 
think that I, the daughter of a nobleman, should 
have mated my pride with such a race ! It is not 
the loss of your wealth I am distracted at, it is the 
loss of your character. I no longer respect you, 
now that I know your dishonest pretences, and 
the flash, sham, and humbug in which we Iiave 
lived. Why did you not tell me, your wife, the truth 
from the first ? Why did you woo me with a lie, 
and use a credit you knew to be false, to deceive my 
relatives, and thus gain a bride from a rank above your 
own ? Oh, John, my love was no question of money ! 
You won it, and it was given in all honesty and good 
faith. I became yours, whether rich or poor, but, 
oh ! not to be cheated and made a fool of. I could 
have begun the w^orld with you as a humble farmer’s 
wife once; but you’ve killed my better self, you’ve 
stifled my affections! I can’t — I won’t take dis- 
grace, though I will take poverty — ^but it shall be 
alone. I’ll struggle for my children — they are all 
the w^orld to me ! ” 

‘‘ Are they nothing to me, Elizabeth?” cried the 


132 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


unhappy man, “ I shall haye to part with them and 
you, for no one knows how long— God help me ! if 
no human being does,” 

And Mr, Fitz waiter wept like a child. 

The sight of his tears somewhat mollified his wdfe’s 
anger ; and she paused in her yehemence, and seemed 
disposed to hold a more conciliatorj tone, 

“ Well, what do yon propose to do she said. 

But words would not come from the now deeply 
affected man. He leaned his head on the tahle, and 
gave way completely to his emotions. 

Horace Fitz waiter left the room at this crisis of 
the scene, and we will leave the miserable couple to 
their sorrowful privacy, while we follow him down 
stairs in the hotel, to an apartment of it, which was 
exclusively the domain of its hostess, Mrs. M'Swiney. 

He approached this sanctuary through an entrance 
provided for the accommodation of persons who 
wanted an interview with their landlady, without 
going out to the front of the bar, which faced the 
principal entrance, and which was the usual audience 
chamber for the public, 

A glass partition divided Mrs, M^Swine3^’s little 
sitting-room from the external oflSce ; but, from the 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


1S3 


inside snuggery, all the transactions outside were 
visible. It was near midnight, but being assize time 
the house was open later than usual. The nigh 
Sheriff being there, brought a good many who had 
business with him into the hall, and the barmaid was 
not idle, even then, for two men who had waited 
several hours for Mr, FitEwalter, were taking drams 
to sustain their strength, under the inconvenience of 
his staying out so late, 

Mrs, MtSwiney was also waiting impatiently for 
the same customer, to whom she felt it was due that 
the house should not be closed until he was in for 
the night, ' 

She was sitting by her bright little fire, and 
arranging her he ad- gear, replacing her grand widow's 
cap, by a comfortable honnet-de-nuU, when Horace 
Fitz waiter came in as unceremoniously as if he were 
one ofj the household. Mrs, M^Swiney was accus- 
tomed to his free and easy ways, and was not at all 
disturbed by his presence, as he drew a chair, and, 
placing himself next her, put his feet on the fender, 
Mr. Horace, when is your brother coming in, to 
let us all go to bed ? I^m glad it's not here he's 
drinking, for I've been sorry enough lately to see 


134 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


the sign of so much liquor on him^ that used to be 
such a splendid j fine young man* He's yeiy cut up 
this last year or so; hut isn't she beautiful? and 
those lovely creatures of girls ! My heart armed 
to them^ and they kissed me as if they knew me all 
along ! I remember their mother, as slight and 
delicate as that eldest one, when she came here with 
her first haby^ — that boy that's such a trouble to 
them now* I'm distressed to think that there will 
he bother in that family ; Master John is an awful 
wild fellow for his years* Oh, how" his poor mamma 
cried when he was expelled from college that time!" 

‘^Mrs* M^Swiney, I'm glad to hear you talk in 
this way about my unfortunate brother ; you feel 
kindly towards us ; indeed you always were a friend ; 
I knew it since the time you used to box my ears for 
stealing tarts out of your store-room ! Will you be 
a real Mend m need nozv t Can I trust you ? Are 

I 

you able to keep a secret ? Can you do a good turn, 
that wiU make us all your obHged servants for life 

Oh my, Mr. Horace ! What can be the matter? 
How can I help you ?" 

Do you know what these men are that are drink- 
ing outside at the counter?" 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


135 


Well, I think they are some of the Court-house 
jobbers, that want to secure employment from Mr. 
Fitzwalter/' 

^^Ifothing of the kind ! they are bailiffs, and w^hen 
they serve him with the -writ they have in their 
pockets, hell be a prisoner for Hfe/' 

Then they never shall do it in this house, as sure 
as I'm in it,” said Mrs. M^Swiney, and she passed 
quickly out into the bar. 

Horace Fitz waiter sat down coolly, and watched 
her proceedings. A warm partisan was the landlady 
of The Hibernia,” and she had a strong tie to the 
Fitz waiter family. Her sympathies were highly 

excited for the present generation of it, from intimate 
knowledge of the affairs of the last one. 

This arose from a source that she never mentioned, 
and her discreet silence secured an amount of good- 
will that might not have been accorded her had she 
sought it on other grounds. Mrs. M*Swiney's mother 
was nearly related to old Mr. Fitzwalter. They were 
brother and sister's children"^ ^ cousin Germans” 
she called the connexion. 

John and Horace Fitzwalter knew this to be the 
case, and it formed a bond between them and the 


136 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


hotel keeper ; and though they did not acknowledge 
it by any particular intimacy, they made it evident 
that they felt it, and were on confidential terms with 
her. On the present occasion, Mrs. M‘Swiney was a 
most useful ally. She manoeuvred the bailifis so 
successfully, that the gentleman inside in her parlour 
saw them go away in a state of royal content, — stupid • 
with drink, and charmed with a likeness of the 
Queen, on the face of a new sovereign. 

‘‘Well done, old lady!’^ said her observer, “I 
knew you could do it ; but there^s work upstairs for 
your management.^’ 

And here Horace gave her an account of the scene 
he had just witnessed in the drawing-room. 

The practical mind of Mrs. M‘Swiney suggested 
immediately various modes of action. She and 
Horace sat until it was nearly daylight, planning 
and arranging the escape of the netted debtors. 
Both brothers were in similar predicaments, owing 
to the way in which one was dependent on the other, 
and it was as necessary for the one to run from his 
creditors as for the other. Bailiffs were watching for 
both ; it was only a question of time as to their incar- 
ceration. 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


137 


What Tv^^ould stop ^our duns^ mouths, Mr, 
Horace?^* inquired Mrs, M'S^idney, 

“Indeed, a hundred pounds would do it, for a 
while, at all eyents,” 

V 

“Well, you shanH cut aWay for the want of that, 
this time, TU lend it to you, and do you stay to help 
the poor woman and children over the mischief,^^ 
Lend it !— why, my good old woman, I^m not 
fit to borrow twopence ! I would not take a loan of 
sixpence from you, but I feel all the same obliged, 
and thankful to you, cousin Mac ! 

“But you shall,*— sure aren't you my own flesh 
and blood? but no matter about that— I'll get it 
back somehow, never you fear, and if I don't, why I 
have neither chick nor child belonging to me. 
But, come, I must set off this unfortunate creature 
upstairs ; in the morning the dogs will start 
after him again,” 

Mrs, M‘Swiney rose to the dignity of a great power, 
in the esteem of her crestfallen relations, that night. 
She came to the rescue ; and her assistance enabled 
them to get through one of the knots, in which they 
were entangled. By her arrangement, in a few 
hours, Mr. Fitz waiter was safe on the high seas, in 


138 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


a ship bound for Lisbon. The vessel was a Portu- 
guese schooner, trading in fruit, and its captain was 
a friend of the landlady of The Hibernia.^’ She 
happened to know that he was in the harbour, and 
that his ship was outward bound ; and she herself 
conveyed the fugitive on board, and induced Captain 
Briario to give him a passage. When she was leav- 
ing Mr. Fitzwalter, she took a very impressive fare- 
well of him. 

I must be plain with you,'^ said she to him ; 
you deserve your fate richly, and I am very angry 
with you ; God forgive you, and enable your friends 
to do so. Here are one hundred sovereigns for you, 
make them go as far as you can ; don’t make a beast of 
yourself with drink ; write to me, and I’ll manage 
for you to hear from your family, and that they, in 
return^ shall hear from you.” 

With a convulsion of grief and penitence, the 
wretehed man wrung her hand, and in a voice 
broken with sobs, promised to take her advice. At 
length, mastering his emotion, he gasped out his 
incoherent and characteristic thanks : 

May my son and my son’s son remember my 
obligation to you, and may they acknowledge that 


THE EEDEEMED ESTATE. 


139 


our blood is akin^ and that you stood well by your 
broken do^\Ti cousin/^ 

Mrs. M'Swiney finished her kind work and inter- 
Yention that day^ by baihiig Mr. Horace I'itzwalter 
before the locum tmem of his brotherj the absent 
High Sheriff, whose disappearance was not at aU 
surprising to the Sub” and who was good-natured 
enough to keep all suspicion offi by creating a rumour 
of a fit in the night/' 

This intelligence was industriously circulated, and 
soon spread all over the country. The whole town 
of Kildine, including the judge, grand jury, and 
officials of the court-house, and, most important of 

all, the creditors of Mr. Fitzwalter, were kept in 

« 

great excitement all day, by the announcement of 
the sudden and alarming seizure of the High Sheriff 
by apoplexy. 

Hr. Green, a friendly physician, was in and out of 
‘^The Hibernia," every hour or so. Horace Fitz- 
walter went about with an air of unfeigned bewilder- 
ment, and bis manner convinced the most anxious 
inquirer of the gravity of the case. The very servants 
of the hotel were deceived. Not one was allowed 
into the pretended sick-room. All offices necessary 


1^0 


TITK REDEEiVIED ESTATE* 


for the suffererj were supposed to be rendered by 
JIrs, M'Swiney herself^ assisted by the afflicted wife> 
and her own confidential domestics. These latter 
were, happily, trustworthy under such circum- 
stances as their class generally is, in Ireland* The 
device was quite after their heart, and they entered 
on it con a7nor0y and performed their parts to per- 
fection, as they usually do in similar afiairs* 

The newspapers of the third day following Mr, 
Titzwalter^s Sight, contained a notice of his death, 
in their obituary columns ; and, owing to his having 
been a well-known personage, a few more particulars 
than usual were furnished, and the statements were 
well hacked np by the rumours got up by the ser- 
vants, who were adepts in the business of misleading 
the public. There was at first some doubt as to 
whether or not there would be a coroner's inquest; and 
it was well known that if there were, no twelve men 
in Ireland would have extorted a word from one of 
these that would have thrown the least light upon 
the case. There is a perfect science, known only to 
the lower order of Irish, which reduces the process 
of parrying legal inquiry to a regular system ; and 
skill in it is honoured as something creditable 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


141 


to the abilities of its possessor. To get off a wit- 
ness table without having had a word of truth elicited, 
under the fire of a clever cross-examination, is an 
achievement which wins no ordinary fame. 

There was some little regret expressed that an oppor- 
tunity of gaining this, was not likely to be afforded on 
the present occasion. Mr. Fitzwalter^s old coachman 
considered himself defrauded in a cruel manner. He 
had signalized himself more than once in a court of jus- 
tice, and had an experience of the difficulties of puzzling 
counsel and judge, which was envied him by many an 
aspiring tactician, but he had never yet sat on a 
body,” and he had a strong desire to do so. There was 
what he considered a nice piece of manoeuvring lost to 
his faculties, and he could not forego it without com- 
plaining. 

‘‘How, Magrath, how can you go on with such 
talk,” said Mrs. M‘Swiney, “an inquest would-be 
the ruin of us : Hwas with the height of manage- 
ment that I kept it off, and only that the coroner 
and I are such friends, and that I made it up to him, 
he would have had the business done.” 

“ To be sure he would, and why not — dacent man ? 
Why for should he lose his guinea, and the docthor 


142 


THB REDEEMED ESTATF- 


his guinea ? and every one of us would have stood to 
them, and they^d get their own out of it, and no hann 
done to any one/^ 

a I'm surprised at you/^ replied the land- 

lady, not to be glad to escape a bundle of lies/^ 

A bundle of lies is it ? an' sure, any way, 
they'd be only otie bundle j and I'd be swore to 'em, 
and I'd stick to 'em to me dying day, by vartue 
of my oath ; but, now, a child might stagger me, 
any moment. The first time I have a sup in, it \^t 11 
all come out ; but if I had the book kissed on it, it 
would make me as safe as the ground, an' I'd feel 
honest and respectable in me conscience," 

Ob, I see, you are afraid of yourself, but I am 
not a bit doubtful of you, nor of any of those that 
helped a master that never injured them, nor any one 
belonging to them," 

You may say that, Mrs, M^Swiney : he was no- 
body's enemy but his own, and I wish him luck all 
over the world ; heTl come to no harm through me. 
You're sure you have the coroner imder your thumb? 
I'd be onaisy any day these ten years to come. Oh, 
he's a purty boy that old Mr, Dunne ! There was 
me brother six months in his grave, and he had 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


143 


him up to look at, and all because the old fool of a 
woman that laid him out let it slip how he came by 
his death — as if it was. any alBFair of hers, the prating 
goose ! ” 

“What did he die of then, Magrath? was there 
any discoTery 

“ He wag shot, and we never took the bullet out 
of him, and it was lead, and so there it was, my dear, 
as large as life ; and him that did it swung for it, and 
it was a burning shame, for we had him marked, and 
we’d ha’ given him what he gave, in our own good 
time, with Grod^'s blessing/’ 

Hrs* M'Swiuey was as well aware as our reader, 
that she was listening to sentiments that ought to 
have tlirilled her with horror, but all she felt about 
them was the oyght — such facts had ceased to do so. 
Familiarity with such phases of vice had deadened her 
sensibilities with regard to them* Frequent contact 
with the peculiarities of this class of Irish character is 
extremely deteriorating in its effects* Though it may 
not end in the utter obliteration of the sense of right, 
it leads to the toleration of an amount of evil, that 
injures the individual and the community at large. 
A confused idea is often found to exist in minds 


144 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


otherwise upright, that there is a rough virtue lying 
somewhere at the bottom of all this untruthfulness 
and scheming ; and apologists tell us that it is ‘‘ at- 
tachment,’^ “ honour,’^ pride,” and other motives 
to which they think only a modulated degree of 
guilt can be ascribed ; and with these they try to 
stifle down the reality into a more attractive picture 
than the naked sin would present. This bewilderment 
of preception constitutes the great difficulty of deal- 
ing with ** the finest pisantry in the world,” and it is 
one that seems to be quite as insuperable now, as it 
was two generations back. The little children of to- 
day manifest it in the same manner that their parents 
and ancestors did, and it is not a little remarkable, 
that it survives the education which was expected to 
put an end to it. 

The conversation about the inquest between Mrs. 
M^Swiney and the coroner, did not terminate the 
matter. Mr. Dunne, it would seem, was not satisfied 
iu his legal conscience, and could not rest as easily 
on his pillow as was desired by his friends. 

A few days after all this danger was thought to be 
passed, this functionary called on Mr. Horace Fitz- 


THE RKDEEMED ESTATE. 


145 


waiter^ and mentioned the necessity for holding a 

* 

formal enquiry into his brother’s death. 

“ You knoWj my dear sb, how I am compelled to 
be strict in my official capacity. The absence of 
burial kws^ or of any thing of that sortj throws an 
immense onus on me.’* 

“I didn’t know you felt it so keenly/’ replied 

%■ 

Horace, “ but of course you must^o your duty, I 
don’t oppose whateYcr the law is in the case. How- 
ever, I thought that i/oti were fully mtmfied (this with 
emphasis) as to the event which has hajypemd* Mrs. 
M'Swiney led me to suppose so.” 

“ Oh yes, of course, I am personally, and that is 
everything. I must take care though to make my 
impression general, which I cannot do, unless I give 
it with the weight of my public seal. People will talk 
— aye are talking — we can’t help them, you know, 
but we can prove them to be wrong, and this I’ll do, 
don’t fear me.” 

Pi tz waiter was by no means sure of this, but he 
dare not betray Ills fear, and he was quite unable to 
read the meaning of the coroner’s words, which ho 
perceived had a double entendre ; so he had recoiirse 


L 


146 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


to the ready-witted landlady, wlio again came to liis 
aid, in his new difficulty. 

did not think, Mr. Dunne, that you would 
disrespect me and my house so much as to make any 
inquiry of this kind : it is casting a doubt on ns all. 
Why what do yon think we did with the man ? ” 
cried Mrs. M'Swiney in an indignant tone. 

“ DonH try to*- examine me, my good woman/^ 
replied the official, I don^t impute anything to 
you — ” 

Nor to my customers ? 

^^No, nor to your customers. It is the respect I 
have for you all that makes me do this. The more 
straightforward, and open, and above-board, every- 
thing is, tlie better and more honourable for all 
parties, 3^011, and they, and me. Indeed, this is a 
much called for proceeding ; the High Sheriff dying 
illegally (I beg your pardon Mr. Fitz waiter) — incon- 
veniently — his creditors demand it. / have no per- 
sonal motive or interest in the matter.” 

Poor Horace's heart reached zero at this point. 
He was unprepared for such virtue, and did not 
know, in the least, how to deal with it, so he made a 
further effort to stave off the business, and enquired 


THE EEDEEMED ESTATE. 


147 


with a very nervous agitated voice, whether no ar- 
rangement could be made, which would reconcile the 
ends of justice, without the distressing formality of 
an inquest ? 

“ Thinlc of my sister-in-law and her afflictions. I 
do hope you will contrive to spare us, Mr. Dunne/^ 
he said, in a tone as near mendicancy as it was possible 
for him to assume. ^ 

But the incorruptible servant of the crown was 
inexorable. He and Mrs. M'Swiney went out of the 
room together, leaving Fitsswalter in a most un- 
enviable state. He knew it was a case for strategy, 
but he loathed any more of that work, and was 
thoroughly disgusted at what he had done, and what 
he felt would have yet to bo done. 

I wish we were all as well out of this land of 
shame as John. He has the best of it. What a life 
of deception and trickery is before us ! % declare, I'm 
tempted to out with the truth, and get rid of the bm^dm 
— it is fire and brimstone already. I only wonder that 
half the world is able to walk about here without dis- 
playing the blaze of the lower regions. Combustion™ 
conflagration — must be the end of it : wherever will it 
begin ? At the top of the tree, I hope, whoever is 


148 


THE EEDEEMED ESTATE* 


the Yictor, The poor are not half so much to blame 
as we ; we deserTe to suflFer for our sins/^ 

This soliloquy was scarcely OTer hefore a stentorian 
Yoice was heard on the stairs caUiug — 

Horace Pitzw alter !” 

It was the shout peculiar to the -^ Peelerj” and it 
was sufficiently familiar to Mr* Titz waiter to annoimco 
to him that the dreaded ordeal was at hand* He 
mechanically obeyed it^ rather relieved than other- 
wise, that the thing to he done, was to be done quickly. 
The operation was hateful, baleful, revolting, and 
not a little alarming in its consequences, and it took 
some effort of nerve to face it* Taking up his hat, 
and assuming his utmost courage, our friend de- 
scended to the coffee-room, of which he found the 
authorities had taken possession* 

The inquest had begun, and that U smelt of tobacco- 
smoke, was the first impression on the reluctant wit- 
ness, as he entered the apartment, at the door of 
which stood two policemen. These were respectfxd 
enough, now that they were face to face with the 
gentleman, and touched their hats as he approached. 
He was about to ask a question as to the stage the 
proceedings had arrived at, and the mode of arrange- 


, THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


149 


ment, but one of them cut the effort short by opening 
the door and announcing — 

Misther Horace, sir,’^ in the tone in which an 
indulgent domestic might usher a scapegrace into 
the masthcr’s” presence. 

At the head of one of the tables sat the coroner, 
and next him there was a young man, with a book in 
his hand, who repeated the policeman’s familiar words 
mechanically : 

Misther Horace,” and was about to proceed with 
an accustomed formula, when he was abruptly 
silenced. 

Hold your tongue,” said Mr. Dunne, with a very 
peremptory tone. 

I was coroner’s clerk, sir, before I came here, sir, 
and I know my business, sir.” 

^‘Oh, I have no doubt you know the county 
Tipperary system, but we are more accurate here, 
and you will have to fall into our customs. What 
is your name, Mr. Fitzwalter?” said the superior, 
in a very bland, reassuring tone, and, as Horace 
thought, with the merest possible shade of a wink. 
But this he xcould not see. In fact, the sight of 
the Book had taken effect on him morally, and he 


150 


THE UEDEEMED ESTATE. 


was going in for truth. The screw was on his con- 
science, and a blush would have been seen on his face, 
if the deadly paleness of a strong resolution would 
let it, for he was thoroughly and heartily ashamed 
of the whole transaction, from beginning to end. 
Prepared to speak, and to act, he answered solemnly — 
Horace Fitzwalter.^’ 

“You have no other name?^^ said the coroner, 
enquiringly, as he wrote the reply in a book before 
him. 

“ No.’’ 

“ I’m glad of that. Two names give two tongues, 
they say — equal to making a man a rogue. It is a 
proverb in some language or other.” 

“ Sir, I beg that there may be no joking on this 
occasion, for I never was more decidedly averse to 
humbug than I am at this minute.” 

“ Don’t take me up in that way, Mr. Fitzwalter, 
I mean you no harm. Come, man, there’s nothing 
to trouble you in our little inquiry ! Is there, 
Doctor?” (And the technical administrator of the 
law turned to the fireplace where the accommodating 
medical attendant was standing.) 

Dr. Green had his snuffbox in hand, and advancing 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


151 


it confidentially to Horace, he began making a little 
conversation to reassure him. 

Mrs. M^Swiney was here this minute,’’ he said. 

’Pon my honour, that woman is a trump ! She 
walked in, and said her say like a lawyer, and there 
was no more about it.” 

‘^How awfully I shall contradict her!” thought 
Horace ; and he looked ruefully at the twelve men 
who were lounging about the room, every one smok- 
ing a long, white, clay pipe, under the soothing in- 
fluence of which inquest was forgotten. 

Listen to me,” said Mr. Dunne: — Take the 
book in your hand.) The evidence you will give 
in this inquest shall be the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God.” 

These words were sputtered, and muttered, in such 
a manner as to make them quite unintelligible. 

It was impossible for Horace to follow them; 
but he reverently put the Gospels to his lips, and 
holding the volume in hand, awaited the momentous 
questions that ho had reason to expect. 

Mrs. M‘Swiney has just described to us — and her 
testimony has been very, clearly borne out by those 
competent and respectable witnesses, the servants of 


152 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


your late bro ther — the causes and circumstances of his 
death. We should require no further evidence^ but 
as youj the next of kiuj are eligible to be examined in 
this matter^ we think it well, in order to satisfy the 
ends of justice, that you should add your sworn 
evidence to the confirmation of the others ; and these 
gentlemen will listen attentively, while I inform you 
what their allegations were, and require you to affirm 
them on oath/' 

“ Faix, that's the quarest way,” broke in one of 
the jury. 

i 

Silence, you unmannerly fellow,” said the coroner, 
“ How dare you interrupt me ? ” 

Why, then, haven't I a right ? ” 

ITo, sir, you have no rights but what I gave 
yon, and I'll take tliem away again, I tell you ; who 
are you, pray P This gentleman, Horace Fitz waiter. 
Esq,, swears that every word uttered by Mrs. 
M^Swiney, in your hearing, was the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth ; and this closes the 
evidence on the death. The inquest is over. I dis- 
miss you, gentlemen/' 

This was easier said than done apparently, for ^^the 
had a general idea that they were sum- 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


153 


moned for tke purpose of “ sitting on a body,” and of 
that privilege they were detenniiied not to be cheated. 
They discussed the matter in little groups, in low 
grumbling tones. The smouldering embers assumed 
the aspect of a fitful unextinguished fire, which had 
still a considerable quantity of combustible material 
under its power. Short, gleaming blazes shot up in 
the form of such words as these : — 

^^Ne^er a one of ^em saw him dead, and who swore 
he died 

Oughtn^t we see the body — lay an eye on it 
— or touch it ? sure this is no way to sit on it — it 
should be to the fore, or sometlnug belonging to it.^" 
"" The docthor told us nothin"/^ 

An" what he did, we don^t believe/^ 

^Twas the coroner himself told us all about it,^^ 
Sure, it was— never a word he let wan of ^em 
say, nor a question did he ask/' 

Up and tell him so,” said one of the party. 
Thereupon an elderly man — removing his pipe from 
his mouth, taking off his hat, and smoothing his 
hair down on his brow with Iiis hand, which he 
passed all over his face, as if to compose his features 
into a legal condition, with a respectful air, said — 


154 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


“ If it^s plazing to your worship, we want to sit 
upon the body ? 

What for, my man ? said Mr. Dunne, who had 
risen by this time from his seat, and had joined the 
doctor on the hearth-rug. 

That^s what we come for, your reverence.’^ 

Can we oblige this nxan. Doctor ? ” 

Well — said the gentleman appealed to, that 
is as it may be. I don’t recommend it, and I won’t 
say what the result of it would be, imder the payment 
of £1 a piece, from each of the jurors to whom I give 
my opinion. If they will have it on those terms, I 
shall be very happy to oblige them ; but I am not 
bound to inform every individual one of them how 
long he would be likely to live after coming in con- 
tact with the most hypernatural parallelogrammatical 
posthumous spectacle that it was ever my duty, 
in the whole course of my professional career, to 
encounter.” 

“ Then, you says it would be dangerous, your 
honour P ” 

I tmpl^ it — I sap nothing.” 

At this crisis, one of the jury summoned an amount 
of courage, that seemed to have forsaken the rest of 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


155 


tho august tody^ and^ witii the air of a man determined 
to do or die, he began drawing up his coat- sleeves, 
and thundered oiit— 

Fll see itj or 1*11 know why P "" 

“ Clear the room/' said the coroner^ with a voice 
that summoned to his aid such a body of pohcemen, 
that the twelve anxious inquirers were soon ejected 
* from the apartment, and Horace found himself face 
to face with the coroner and doctor, who were in 
broad ecstacies of fun, while the clerk, with a sympa- 
thetic leer, was gathering up the docnmentary evL- 
dence of the Inqnest/' 


CHAPTER II. 


The debts of an Irish gentleman of the old school 
were never incumbrances to himself, whatever they 
may have been to his creditors. He inherited some, 
and he created others. 

The first were to his mind the gloomy ghosts of a 
former rigirm, and he knew he was born to share the 
family property with them. That they existed, he 
was perfectly well aware, but where or how, he reso- 
lutely ignored. They might do their best, and he 
would do his best, to get satisfaction out of the un- 
jjortunate inheritance; and the struggle generally 
resulted in both claims remaining unsatisfied. 

As to the contracting of similar liabilities on his 
own account, he had a strong sense of duty about it ; 
which was, that he conceived he owed it to posterity 
to endow it, as he had been endowed ; and so he took 
a certain pride in adding to the accumulating heap of 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


157 


debts ; and at the close of his tenure of the family 
property, he surrendered his account, with the most 
impartial disregard of the past, or of the future. 

It cannot be said that he benefited himself, for 
he carried nothing away with him, and it is due to his 
memory to say, that, to the end of his days, a quiet 
conscience was reputed to be his constant companion. 

An abiding conviction supported him, under all 
opposing sentiments — viz., that life interest ’’ was 
no ownership, and that no private advantage, except 
the power of credit, was derivable from the privilege 
of possession for this restricted period. The Family 
property was a real idea to his mind, and the rights 
of heirship had no meaning to him besides the 
temporary use of all they could make enjoyable out 
of the estate, of which they had the present control. 

A sucession of generations, that could not see why 
they should pay their predecessors’ debts, or for what 
reason they should not incur the same for themselves, 
brought up the totals of those notorious items in 
the Irish domestic economy, to an enormous figure. 

Nothing short of a direct and special intervention — 
a disturbance of the usual course of events — subvert- 
ing and preventing the continuance of matters in 


158 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


their ordinary routine, could have cut short the pro- 
cess by which this large numerical statement was 
being rapidly increased. This the famine of 1847 
did, and did effectually* It proclaimed the dilemma 
to the world, and made the law ashamed, under which 
such misrule could endure. The crown of England 
became vice-owner of all Ireland for the nonce, and 
performed, in real life, that which its standard of 
justice has so long presented en tableau. The disputed 
bone was rescued from the combatants, and the 
honour of statesmanship vindicated, by the humane 
and honest institution of the Incumbered Es.tates 
Court* 

This measure did not approve itself instantaneously 
to the whole Irish community. Only the sentient, 
and really suffering portion of it, recognized its 
value, and those were the creditors. They had had 
no compensating enjoyment in the recent state of 
affairs, to dull their apprehension of rectitude, and 
they immediately applauded the Act, aud appealed to 
it, as their deliverance and protection. 

No one found it so difficult to realize the applica- 
bility of the new code to his circumstances, as the 
subject of the incumbrances* He neither could, nor 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


159 


would, see the benefit of it to him ; he left this to the 
opposite party to discover, and to use, the remedy it 
offered. There was a general rush of the creditor 
class to the opened way of salvation. It besieged 
the commissioners, and the amount of petitions to 
them was such as to fill the public mind with amaze- 
ment. 

The patient endurance of the debtor, under the 
pressure of his ** charges,'^ and the systematic process 
by which the perpetuation of these charges was se- 
cured — their co-existence and cotemporaneousness, 
with all and every one of the successive holders of 
the shadows of the estates, while they clung like burrs 
to the substance, were nothing short of the marvel- 
‘ Ions, to men who understand “ I promise to pay,’^ 
in the Bank of England sense of the engagement. 

It was truly surprising how both parties could 
have stuck so long to their plans. Mutual interest 
could alone account for it ; and, without doubt, this 
was the original character of the agreement. But 
it, like all other mundane arrangements, was sub- 
ject to change and chance, and these came on it 
in a moment. Suddenly the horizon of credit was 
overcast by the clouds of difficulty, and down came 


160 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


pell mell the shower of bankruptcy. From time 
immemorial the laiidlords of Ireland had been lining 
well, and paying the interest of their debts off their 
lands punctually ; but when the famine came, the 
condition in which this was possible was oyer. By 
one blow, they were reduced to a state in which 
they could do neither one nor the other. The 
peaceful bond that had tied them and the trading sec- 
tion of the community together was broken ; and that 
controyersy set in which ended in the entire sever- 
ance of their connection. The power of sale replaced 
the awkward necessity for flight, or concealment, 
which were the ordinary resources of unfortunate 
owners, whose properties were overcharged. 

This relief, however, did not occur until long after 
Mr. Fitz waiters pretended demise. The scheme by 
which this artifice was earned out was hut a shallow 
device. After a year or so, no one believed in his 
death, and, in time, it was actually known to be a 
fiction. Credible witnesses were found to prove his 
being alive ; but the facilities for eluding pursuit 
were so great in those days that he could not be 
laid hands on. 

Mrs. Fitzwalter, Mr. Horace, the Misses Fitz- 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


161 


waiter, and the young masther,'^ Mr. John, who 
was the heii* apparent, and in possession, resided in 
the old pile of building, that was once the grand 
mansion of the Fitz waiter family. For years, dur- 
ing the occupancy of four generations, the house had 
been slowly and gradually giving way to the pro- 
gress of decay, without any resistance being offered 
by the usual repairing forces. The lands, likewise, 
presented a perfect picture of an incumbered estate. 
They and the house represented the facts of the 
case. No words could tell more plainly the true 
history of their condition and circumstances, than 
their appearance indicated. They showed the 
mournful state of affairs, that was too common all 
over Ireland— the anomaly that made that fertile 
country a desert — the presence of the root of bitter- 
ness, that, planted in selfishness, was springing up 
in misery, and overspreading its fair face with the 
evil of pauperization ! The lands and house were 
evidence, and told all the tale at a glance ! On them 
it was written, in legible characters, that the man 
and the soil were being divorced. 

The Fitz waiters had been for a long time out- 
running their powers. They had spent, until there 

M 


162 


THE HEDEEIMED ESTATE* 


was no more to spend. The resource of mortgaging 
was exhausted* They had done this heavily, elabo- 
rately, and intricately. Their affairs were in such 
an involved condition, that they had long past the 
comprehension of the family intelligence, and it de- 
clined to exercise itself in extricating the subject 
from its confusion and entanglement. The persons 
we have enumerated as living on the estate, held 
themselves secure in their incompeteiicy from all 
clamorous creditors ; and, in virtue of the legal 
difficulties that beset any meddling with them, they 
succeeded in obtaining almost a perfect immunity 
from annoyance. 

The mortgagees could do nothing to compel any 
of the five forthcoming members of the family to 
answer for the absent principal. They could not 
accept the ^eath of Mr, Fitz waiter as a fact, and 
take measures accordiugly, without incurring the 
risk of his retmm, and defeating all their plans for 
compromise or settlement. They were in a dilemma, 
and it was the interest of the hmm tenens to keep 
them so ; their mistification was his opportunity, and 
he took advantage of it. 

The appearance of Mr. Fitzwalter in his old haunts, 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


163 


and the disappearance of members of the family 
from Knocklash House, at different times, were sub- 
jects for many romantic tales; and the very fact of a 
legendary interest growing up round the household 
protected it from intrusion. 

To the tenantry, far and near, the ladies and gen- 
tlemen in trouble were martyrs, and their cause was 
so warmly espoused by them, that nothing but the 
sight of armed authority made them pay their rents 
to the receiver, set over the property by the Court 
of Chancery, in favour of the creditors. . 

As long as ever the farmers on the Knocklash 
estate had them to give, the landlord’s family felt no 
want of the common necessaries of life. Substantial 
kindness was heaped on them ; meal, butter, bacon, 
and potatoes, came in most plentifully, and they were 
amply provided for in a rough way. 

Mrs. Fitz waiter sadly missed the refinements and 
delicacies of her early days. She fell into a low sort 
of moaning way, and went about in helpless misery, 
becoming daily less and less ladylike, and finally 
deteriorating into a whining old woman, always re- 
counting her former splendours, and repining at her 
lot, and its woes. 


164 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


When ten years had passed oyer her head^ no one 
could have recognised in her the heautifiilj elegant 
creature that had been the admiration of the neigh- 
bourhood. It preyed on her mindj that she had 
united in the mean fraud which was perpetrated 
on her husband's creditors ; and in her imbecility 
hlrs. Fitz waiter perpetually upbraided her brother- 
in-law and her children, with having induced her to 
join them in their deception. Her weak-mindedness 
rendered her unable to see where her own aecounta- 
hility began, and she continually charged them with 
being the cause of all the misery she w|s enduring. 

The state of almost fatuity to which she was re- 
duced, was the greatest trial her daughters had to 
encounter. 

They took no blame whatever to themselves on the 
subject of their father^s concealment. Their impres- 
sions connected with it were, that the proceeding 
was one for which no other alternative existed ; and 
they expended all the love of children, and all the 
intense sjmpathy of enthusiasm on the fugitive. 

An interview with him was purchased with any 
amount of self-sacrifice, and his occasional visits to 
them were planned and contrived with an earnest- 


THE REDEEMED ESTA'I’E. 


165 


ness of love, and an infinity of skill, worthy of a 
nobler cause. Towards Uncle Horace a profound 
regard was felt by both nieces. He was all in all to 
them — replaced father, mother, brother, and all. 
Alas ! that he should have had to supply the latter 
relative’s deficiencies ! 

John Fitz waiter was anything but a comfort to his 
sisters. When the pressure of the family calamity 
came on him he gave way to every bad passion that 
rose up within him, and became abusive to his mother, 
uncle, and sisters ; and told them, that if once he were 
really and truly in possession of the place, they should 
quit it ; and his conduct and language were so unruly 
and menacing, that they were obliged to fall back 
more decidedly on the mystery,” than they should 
have done, had he been a person of another sort. 

It was, in fact, beneficial to them that Mr. Fitz- 
walter’s existence should be supposed, and they 
allowed the suspicion to circulate with less show of 
contradiction than would have been necessary, if 
they had been really anxious to complete their fraud, 
and put the young man into possession of the inherit- 
ance. 

The act of deception was no sooner committed. 


166 


THE EEnEE^fED ESTATE. 


than they perceived its error ; for immediately on 
the establishment of his power^ John Fitz waiter 
began to nse it for evil. The vicious propensities 
that had caused him to be expelled from Trinity Col- 
lege^ grew with his growth^ and strengthened with 
his strength. 

While ever his mother had money^ he extorted it 
from herj and when no more was to be had at home^ 
he besieged all his friends and acqnaintances, beg- 
ging and coaxing it from them^ and then spending it 
on indulgences of the lowest kind. Mrs. M^Swiney 
was especially troubled by him. He would go and 
live at her expense, make the freest use of her estab- 
lishment, and seemed to think it his right and pri- 
vilege to do so. 

She was most Icind and uncomplaining, and often 
got him out of scrapes and difficulties, into which his 
own wildness, and his bad associates brought him. 

unfrequently she paid his debts, and as often re- 
plenished his stock of clothing, and sent him home 
to his family with gifts, and good advice. 

StiU, he returned on her hands, got into renewed 
troubles, and pursued the old mischievous courses, 
ending, sometimes, with feigned repentance, delusive 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


167 


tears, and ill-founded promises of amendment. 
He thus betrayed her good nature over and over 
again into a pernicious exercise of its ihexhaustible 
fund of charity. • 

Poor Mrs. M‘Swiney had cause to regret the dark 
night’s work she did for her grand relations. The 
connection was, thenceforth, a continual source of 
pain and vexation to her. John Fitz waiter often 
kept her in a ferment of anxiety and trouble with his 
pranks, and Will-o’-the-wisp-like vagaries. He 
could never be calculated on. 

Sometimes when she believed him safe at Knock- 
lash, he would be brought to her, perhaps at night, by 
a watchman, who found him, beastly drunk in the 
streets, and his apparel so shabby and dirty, that 
her very servants objected to his company. Then 
she would communicate with Mr. Horace, who 
could only philosophise in return, and suppose that, 
when a gentleman is out of his own road, he has 
to scramble through muddy ditches.” 

The peasantry, with a fine sense of the incongruity 
of the ‘‘young masther’s conduct,” condoled very 
warmly and kindly with “ the poor misthriss, 
and the young cratheres of girls,” but it was 


168 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


very humiliating to the objects of their commisera- 
tion. The pride of the ladies was sorely and keenly 
hurt by the* meanness of their brother, and his com- 
plete moral degradation, much more so than by Uncle 
Horace’s painful struggles to farm their fields, in 
order to support the household. 

pi 

This undertaking of Mr. Horace Fitzwalter’s did 
equal honour to his mental abilities and kind disposi- 
tion. The attempt to provide for his own wants was 
never contemplated in his early education. He was a 
man entirely trained to the theory and practice of idle- 
ness! For thirty years of his life he had consistently 
followed it as his mode of living; and there was 
immense difficulty in his endeavouring to do any- 
thing else. This Catherine and Margaret Fitzwalter 
fully appreciated, and esteemed his energy accord- 

ingly- 

He was beginning to take heartily to his work, 
and was overcoming the obstacles with which his 
habits beset him, when the potato blight occurred. 
Poor Uncle Horace ! He gave way altogether when 
no crops, no money, and no help from neighbours 
were to be had. 

Oh, the mournful walks through the fields that he 


THE EEDKEMED ESTATE* 


169 


and liis nieces used to take at tliis time. The rotting 
crops^ the sickening smell of cli^am^ the wailing 
cry of the starving and beggars that they 

heard at every turn they took! 

When matters came to this pass out of doors, 
the whole party stayed within ; and, for some 
weeks, the Pitz waiter family endured positiye, real 
hunger. 

Their food was confined to the universal “ Ingy 
male/’ and a little salt was all they bad to season it. 
Their only servant was a nurse, who had volunteered 
to share their broken fortunes, and who went, from 
time to time, to the little town ^of Litton to buy 
provisions. She carried with her, on each journey, 
some article of dress or furniture, by the sale of 
which, the means of purchasing even the most 
miserable sort of diet were procured ! 

This state of things could not long hold out* A 
very little of it brought Mr. John to his senses* 
With a resolute air he walked out one morning, and 
was not heard of for some days. A letter was then 
received from him, dated Kildine Barracks,’^ and 
it contained the news that he had enlisted in the 
— th regiment of foot, and was bound for India. 


170 


THE HEDEEMED ESTATE* 


It was with unfeigned pleasure that Horace Fitz- 
walter heard this. He"' and the girls were inex- 
pressibly relieved by it, and believed that John had 
done the very wisest and best act under the circum- 
stances* 

How, Uncle, said Catherine, I must be allowed 
to do something* I can teach small children very 
well* Mrs. M^Swiney is looking for a situation for 
me, and if I can get £20 a year, you^U see what I 
can do with it.^^ 

This subject had been often canvassed between 
them, but was always cut short by a decided nega- 
tive from tlie distressed uncle* His opposition, how- 
ever, got weaker, day by day* 

Mrs* Fitzwalter^s mental malady was becoming 
very trying. The necessity for placing her in some 
suitable asylum, was increasingly apparent ; and the 
means of doing so, could only be obtained by some 
such effort on the part of one of the family, as 
Catherine proposed to make* 

But what would £20 a-year be towards this ob- 
ject? It was only half of what would be required, 
as Mr. Fitz waiter ascertained ; and yet, it was all that 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE- 


171 


the most sanguine could hope that Miss Fitzwalter^s 
best services would obtain* 

There were hundreds offering for every employ- 
ment open to women* The superabundance of the 
rednced-kdy*' class was the social feature of the 
day* 

Men of broken fortunes thronged into the ranks 
of the working classes and were able to provide for 
themselves, in some manner or other, more easily 
than this poor, helpless section of females* 

Governesses were to be had for their food, and gifts 
of the humblest clothing- Four pounds per annum 
was their maximum salary, and even the market for 
this labour was choked* 

Servants, that is to say, regularly trained domestic 
workers, were scarce* Women wdliug to go to 
homely, household drudgery, were rare enough to 
command their wages, for they had a certain demand 
to supply, and had many resources ; while these un- 
happy ladies/’ wdth their pride and prejudices, 
were unprepared for teaching, and unwilling to do 
menial services. 

Mrs* M‘Swiney could not help poor Catherine 


179 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


ritzwalter* No one wanted a young iadi/ to take 
charge of little children/’^ 

Nursery maids, who could wash, the rooms, and 
get up fine linen/ ^ were what most people required. 

Surely I can do that ; and I %vill most gladly/^ 
wrote the humbled girl to her friend in KiMine; 
and, pending some arrangements that Mrs. M^Swiney 
was making, to provide her with such a situation, 
she and her sister occupied themselves in making 
some crochet collars, of which the nurse brought 
them the pattern from Litton, and the information 
that if they could make them well, they should get 
four shillings a piece for them. 

This needlework employment exactly suited the 
taste of Catherine and Margaret Nitzwalter, and a 
little practice brought them on to do it beautifully. 
They had their inother^s old lace for a model, and 
out of its graceful forms they made exquisite patterns. 

The efforts of their skill surprised the dealer in 
the collars, and for some time be paid the nurse 
whatever price she asked for their work; but, to 
their great surprise, as it increased in quantity, it 
fell in value ; and at last, be began to require it at a 
very low rate. 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


173 


Is it your daughter makes this said he, one day. 
What need you care,'^ she replied, as long as 
you gets what you w'ants.^’ 

be bound iFs no common woman makes it, 
for it’s beyond what they’d think of,’’ said the trader, 
and it is a pity but they’d keep up to the mark, 
and give us a good supply.” 

Oh, don’t fear them that works, but they^ll keep 
up,” the nurse answered. It’s yourself that falls 
oflf. See how you cuts me down of the payment 
every time, on one excuse or other. 

I’m sorry for it, but I cannot help doing it, my 
good woman. The shapes and sizes are mostly not 
right, and anything ever so fine and nice, if it isn’t 
in the fashion, won’t sell for me at all. Now, I’m 
giving you six shillings for that, and may be some 
day I’ll have to sell it for three myself.” 

After this conversation, the nurse had a shrewd 
suspicion, that the young ladies were not sending 
their goods to the best market, and she communicated 
to them what she thought. 

Send one of these pretty collars to Mrs. 
M^Swiney, and she’ll find out the truth for you, is 
my advice,” said this sage friend ; and it was in fol- 


174 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


lowing it that the Misses Fitz waiter formed their con- 
nection with the Kildine Lace School. Mrs. 
M‘Swiney discovered for them its advantages, and 
applicability to their case ; and it was at her ex- 
pense that Catherine Fitz waiter passed a week learn- 
ing the way to fall into its peculiar system. 

On her return to Knocklash, she and her sister 
gathered a number of little girls together, and began 
to instruct them in the art of making ‘‘ Irish Point 
Lace.^^ 

Their productions were most admirable — perfect 
studies from the antique laces ; and the style became 
so fashionable, that the Knocklash School could not 
make goods fast enough for the trade, which steadily 
increased, and in three years time kept four hundred 
hands in constant work ! 

During this period, the profits of their industry 

% 

enabled the Misses Fitz waiter to make their unhappy 
mother tolerably comfortable, and their home as- 
sumed a more habitable appearance. 

The nurse, and a ‘‘ labouring boy,^’ kept matters, 
in-doors and out-doors, in some kind of order ; and 
some repairs interrupted, in a slight degree, the 
decay of the old place. 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


175 


The few neighbours that remained, remarked the 
improvement in the establishment ; but none were in- 
timate enough with its concerns to know how it was 
brought about. The silent working of the school, 
however, told on the district, and its value was well 
known to the recipients of its benefits. 

A factory, with all its advantages, was rising in 
the midst of the ruined agricultuidsts ! The em- 
ployers were growing rich, and the employed were 
well paid, and were being shown the excellent road 
to independence and wealth. The success that 
attended the lace work at Knocklash, was altogether 
owing to the artistic accomplishments of the ladies 
that undertook the making of it. 

They had genius, cultivation, and manipulatory 
skill ; and they united to these intense industry. 
The Kildine school supplied them with directions as 
to shapes and styles suitable for the fashionable 
world, it sold their goods for them, and sent them 
orders. 

This aid relieved them of the trouble of attending 
to the commercial business, necessarily connected 
with their employment, and loft them at liberty to 
devote their whole attention to perfecting the manu- 


> 


176 


THE REDEEMED ESl’ATE. 


facture tliey had in hand. Besides, it secured them 
— that which they earnestly desired — thorough 
'privacy in their working life. 

The anxiety to preserve this was their sole weak- 
ness ; and it was by no means a singular one then in 
Ireland. It was the peculiarity of the class to which 
the Fitzwalters belonged ; and among the changes 
that class has undergone of late years, must be 
reckoned as one, and not the least important either, 
that this distinguishing trait is obliterated. 

Irish ladies have set aside for ever the folly that 
tied and bound their faculties, on the subject of 
industry, before the extraordinary social occurrences 
of the period to which we refer. But, they certainly 
had a severe struggle for this freedom ; starvation it- 
self was easier to them, than the confemm of need^ to 
earn bread. 

I And even when that Rubicon was crossed, the 
word employment ’’ said, and remuneration ’’ 
hinted at, there still remained to be overcome the 
grievous difficulty of separating the idea of ‘‘ degra- 
dation ” from work.’’ 

Work intellectual — teaching for instance — might 
be tolerable ; but, alas ! for all sorts of real worky they 


THE REDEEI^IED ESTATE. 


177 


wre generaUy totally unlit ; and as for work domestic^ 
or work commercial— “businesg '^“tkey had a pro- 
found disrelisk for them all* 

The latter was their notion of debasement, and 
utter loss of caste and hope; it was condemnation 
to low associates — -vulgar modes of living — and 
celibacy ! 

With these prepossessions, it is no wonder that 
anything like trading was approached with re- 
luctance ; and such impressions, born and bred in 
people, are not to be abolLshed at amomenf s warning* 
The Kildine school undertook to meet the difficulties 
of this class, not by reasoning with the mistaken 
ladies/^ nor by propounding theories as to female 
employment ; but by confining itself to simply en- 
couraging them, with practical demonstrations of the 
advantages to be derived from the lace business, and 
by afibrding them every facility to enter it, with as 
few trials to their feelings as possible* 

No publicity whatever was given to any of its 
movements, beyond the circulation of information 
necessary to secure a trade, and make a connection 
of workers on the one hand, and customers on the 
other. 

N 


178 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


This plan succeeded in doing more than was ex- 
pected, for, through its instrumentality, several 
ladies,^^ women of great skill in needlework and of 
artistic cultivation, really did enter on regular ‘‘busi- 
ness^’ occupation, and opened communication for 
themselves with warehouses, and earned on lucrative 
commercial employments. 

The Misses Fitz waiter were among the first and 
best of the fruits of this institution. The article they 
made obtained a high character in the market, and 
realized good prices for some years. 

Their labour force was singularly available. No 
competition existed for the work of the little hands 
they trained. They had the field to themselves, and 
were able to produce excellent goods at a low rate. 

This great advantage they turned to a very good 
account, and it was a great pleasure to see the energy 
and zeal they displayed in pursuits so difierent from 
those to which they had been accustomed. Their 
constant application to the duties they imdertook 
was testified by the results it attained. 

They worked with a will, a power, and an object, 
and soon felt that there was a dignity attached 
to honest labour. Industry took root in their minds. 


THK EKDEEMED ESTATE. 


179 


and its growth ^Yas exhibited in the fact that they 
learned to respect it. From the time that they began 
to feel the pecuniary benefits of their exertions, a 
wonderful change took place in their manner, even 
with regard to the agency, through which they had 
accomplished so much. 

The Misses Fitzwalter were not ashamed after a 
while to visit the Kildine school, and to speak openly 
there of the money they were making in the despised 
position of '^tradeswomen/^ Their example was one of 
the best modes of inculcating the principles the school 
proposed to set forth ; aiid those ladies and others, 
thus founded an enduring school of morals for their 
countrywomen, that will long survive the memory of 
the initiative one, held in the small unpretending 
house, in a back street of the old county town. 

While Catherine and Margaret Fitzwalter were 
%vorking away at their lace manufacture, Uncle 
Horace was not idle. He obtained, by great impor- 
tunity, and much begging and entreating of former 
friends, a small appointment in a government oflS.ce 
in Dublin ; to which place he removed, about the 
same time that the girls began to be mterested in 
their industrial employment. 


180 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE- 


As sooB as lie couldj he made arraiigements to 
place Mrs, Fitzwalter in an asylum, and he urged 
his nieces to accept a share of the pittance to which 
the payment for his sister-in-law reduced his salary, 
and to come and Hve with him. 

Tins they resolutely refused to do. They had taken 
to work, and they liked it ; and were determined to be 
independent, and to give the labour they bad adopted 
a fair triaL 

In almost utter seclusioUj these devoted women 
worked on- Companionship and sympathy in their 
struggle, they had none, "Their neighbourhood be- 
came strangely emptied of all the society that was 
its boast in their youth, ^ 

The famine had crushed into utter ruin all thetotter- 

i; 

ing fortunes left by heedless past generations, and it 
had removed to idistant scenes the owners of domains 
which they could ho longer occupy- Many of the sur- 
rounding estates were sold under the courts, to 
men of the working farmer, or tradesman class, 
and these successors of the ruined gentry were not 
reckoned as possible associates. 

The clergy of the district looked on the Misses 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


181 


Fitz waiter’s deeds with surprise, mingled with other 
feelings. 

Religion is not always combined with common- 
sense, and when it stands thus alone, it is often a 
serious impediment to good and useful undertakings. 

It is the unpardonable sin in the opinion of many 
good people, that children should ever learn anything 
but that they have souls, and how to save them 
and these folks conceive that the sole duty that they 
owe to the poor, consists in cultivating their religious 
sentiments. This is all that many truly Christian 
persons wiU undertake to do for themj^^and they seem 
to be under the impression that iudustty comes by 
nature to the lower classes. There never was a 
more silly delusion than this, nor a more injurious 
one as regards the Irish poor, with whom the case 
is the very reverse. In them the religious element 
predominates, while the industrial is non-existent. 
They want no incentive to neglect the one for the 
other, and but too readily adopt any views which 
depreciate secular labour, and exalt unduly the 
temper of mind that disregards temporal considera- 
tions. Keenly alive to their spiritual concerns, they 


1S2 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


pursue them as their first and chief object, as to which 
all else is unimportant; and this is their noblest 
characteristic. It at once elevates them from the 
common level of grovelling, craving beggars, and 
gives their cry a claim which eveiy Christian heart 
must admit with warm sjmipathy. 

Religion — a beautiful wild scheme for the subjec- 
tion of the flesh to the spiilt— is natural to the Irish 
Celt, and Popery develops this peculiarity most ex- 
quisitely, by twining it through the infinite ramifica- 
tions of its superstitions, thereby forming a frame- 
work of picturesque piety, which is most sublime and 
devotional in its aspect. There is something touch- 
ing and delightful in the fact that mention of the 
future state, and aUiision to our personal interest in 
it, are always welcome to the Irish poor. To them 
the unseen is present in the strong grasp of faith, 
and with them the 07ie thing needful outweighs all 
other considerations. While we yield to no one in 
anxiety for their deliverance from error, and for 
their instruction in the plain, simple truths of Holy 
Scripture, we entirely dissent from the views of 
those who hold back from schools which are under- 
taken for the sole purpose of teaching industry, This 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


183 


lawful object is most conveniently done without at- 
tempting to convey religious information through the 
same machinery; and there is no doubt that the 
admixture has been a source of much mischief in 
Ireland. 

When industrial schools were arising there, and 
looking for pecuniary aid, it was found that the 
wealthy, benevolent, and piotts public would not sub- 
scribe to them, unless assured that they should be 
used as vehicles for introducing instruction in certain 
doctrines. The plain Christian principle of their 
foundation was not sufficiently recognized, nor the 
powerful nature of the moral agency they set up fully 
understood. It was not thought possible to benefit 
the Irish poor without controverting their Romish 
dogma, and no one seemed to see that there was a 
work to be done for their bodies, which has no con- 
nection whatever with the ministry directed to the 
soul and its immortal welfare. Hence almost all in- 
dustrial schools were sectarian in their character, 
and any that boldly asserted neutrality wero “ con- 
traband of war,^^ in a country delivered over to reli- 
gious belligerents. 

This fact was eminently apparent in the opposition 


184 


I’HB REDEEMED ESTATE, 


which some lace schools experienced, and that of 
the Misses Titz waiter formed no exception. 

The rector of their parish earnestly conjured them 
to haye the Bible taught to their pupils, and when 
they declined to follow his advice, he stigmatised the 
work as unekridian^ and preached it down with might 
and main. 

The priest objected to the Roman Catholic children 
learning to crochet from Protestant ladies, for fear 
that the stitches might conyey heresy ; and the 
partisans of both these gentlemen warmly exerted 
themselyes to prey ent the spread of this species of 
industry in the neighbourhood. 

Opposition was met with in nearly every quartei^ 
With some show of reason, the outcry was raised, 
that such employment rendered women undomestic, 
gave them too much freedom from pecuniary restraint, 
and hy the independent possession of money, put 
them into temptation ; in fact tended to their moral 
injury. 

See. how the girls are dressed out,” said such 
obj ectors, “and what sums of money they have running 
through their fingers, 

It was literally true that they bad very large 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


185 


wages, and that some were disposed to squander their 
earnings very inconsiderately ; but it should be 
remembered, that this complaint of improyidence 
was the result of the state of ignorance in which the 
employment found them, and ought not, in fairness, 
to have been laid to the charge of the nature of the 
occupation. 

The Misses Pitzwalter steered their way through 
these adverse currents, and bravely defended their 
conduct ; but their success in argument w^as not so 
great as in trade. It was hard to convince the pious 
of their consistency as professors of religion, while 
they persisted in carrying out such godless^* doings 
as having schools that did not convey Scriptural 
instruction ! 

Eut they took no notice of their opponents, and 
worked along content with the approval of their own 
consciences, and gratified with the sight of the good 
that they were doing to their distressed neighbours. 

They made no pretence, however, that their un- 
dertaking was a purely benevolent one j on the con- 
trary, they made it distinctly evident that they were 
w^orking for their own benefit, and were endeavour- 
ing to make money for themselves ; and this avow^al 


1S6 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


was specially creditable to tliem^ because many, with 
equal neccssityj scorned such efforts. Some who 
were making them carefully concealed their object 
under a show of charity ^ and tried to save their 
gentility by resorting to a meanness which made 
^them the accepters, instead of the donors, of eleemosy- 
nary assistance. 

The Misses Fitzwalter were very different from such 
people — petty little workers, who only strove to 
obtain the gratification of small wants in the way of 
luxuries in dress and clothings and trilling indul- 
gencies, the remnants of a state of idleness and ease 
to which they had never been truly entitled. The 
ladies of Knocklash had higher motives and more 
elevating pui’poses. They toiled with* an undaunted 
resolution. 

It was an idea, borne out in every motion of their 
fingers. The lace they made revealed it, in the dash- 
ing freedom of its graceful figures, their curves and 
waving foliage, and the tracery that labyrinthed the 
groundwork of its lovely flowers. It was the anxious 
aspiration of these hearts to beat free from debt 
and dishonour, which were dispiriting their lives, and 
depriving them of a possession which they coveted 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


187 


—not tbo material inlieritance of the landed estate 
of the proud Pi tz waiters — (that they could haye re- 
linq^uished) — but a fair fame cleansed from the soil 
of deceit and fraud. 


CHAPTER III. 


Early in the spring of 1856, Miss Fitzwalter came 
to the Kildine school, and brought with her a large 
stock of lace, which she told the superintendent she 
must sell at once ; and she requested that the London 
agent should be directed to dispose of it for cash, at 
the best price he could get. 

She was warned that a very heavy discount would 
be deducted by any firm who would buy such a 
quantity; and the difficulty and disadvantage of 
forcing a sale, was very clearly set before her. But 
she was resolute in her purpose; there was no 
turning her from it ; she seemed to have some 
special object in view, that made further argument 
useless. The goods were at hand — had been brought 
to the door by a countryman, who had accompanied 
3Iiss Fitzwalter ; and, according to her direction, the 
same man carried the box that contained them into 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


189 


the iisual sortmg and examining oflSce of the 
schooh » 

The opening of the box, and the inspection of the 
laeoj was being carried ^on in the ordinary manner ; 
and the invoicingj and other arrangements connected 
with ife receptian^ were being done, when it was 
remarked, that the porter did not leaye the room, as 
might have been expected, at the conclusion of bis 
part of the business, 

On the contrary, he took a chair* and drew near 
the fire, and with the ease of a person utterly re- 
gardless of surrounding circmnstances, he made him- 
self as comfortable as he could, and, with his back to 
the occupants of the apartment, sat and warmed 
himself with the greatest composure. 

The superintendent, who was present, was not a 
little surprised at his conduct, and looked at Miss 
Eitz waiter for an explanation* 

Extraordinary embarrassment overspread her 
countenance, as she said — 

“ Please let him stay there, Miss O'Brien, he is 
very ill, and I want to find him a lodging* Can you 
help me P' 

As she spoke she expressed by signs to the super- 


190 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


inteiident, that the presence of other parties ia the 
roonij prevented her from being*more explicit. There 
iras such interest and sympathy felt for the Misses 
Pitz waiter by the managers of the establishmentj 
that Miss O^Brien instinctively felt her aid was 
required by the lady, in some urgent manner, so she 
immediately made an excuse for sending all the assis- 
tants from the room, and then most cordially offered 
her services. 

There was no half confidence between Miss Fitz- 
waiter and her friends at the Kildine school ; she 
knew that they were worthy to he trusted, with even 
a secret as important as hers was ; and she relied 
that, in this hour of her extremity, her best help 
would come from the same source whence she had 
already derived so many benefits. 

^^Miss O'Brien/' she whispered, giving at the 
same time a cautious glance round the apartment ; 

this ia my father. He is sick. I want a home for 
him and myself. We must have good airy accom- 
modation, in some respectable house. Do you know 
of one?” 

Yes, I think so, but I can make sure, in a few 
minutes/' replied the superintendent, and she quickly 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


191 


went upstairs to tlie department of the school where 
the educated portion of the workers were engaged in 
composing patterns. 

One of these at once agreed to reeciyo the lodgers, 
and went home to prepare for them. 

Wlien Miss O^Brien returned to the office, the ci- 
devant countryman had become quite altered in ap- 
pearance. A large military cloak enveloped liis tall, 
spare figure, and his hat was exchanged for a gentle- 
manly beaver ; he had put on a pair of gloves, and no 
longer seemed to be the rongh peasant that had 
entered the room a short time ago, bearing a great 
load. It was also very evident that he could not have 
been long acting as porter, for his looks denied that 
he had the power of carrying any great weight, much 
less a burden such as he was supposed to have brought. 

He was, apparently, very weak, and suffering. 
He stood up as the superintendent entered, and tried 
to give her the courtly how of the old school, raising 
his hat, and trying to address her in the style of his 
former polished manners ; but strength failed him, 
and he sank down on the chair exhausted by the 
effort, and affected to tears both by his weakness and 
the novelty of his position. 


192 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE* 


His daughter used every loving mode of restoring 
his self-possession, and Miss 0*Brien tried to reassure 
him by her cheerful, friendly greeting, and the hind 
attentions she showed him* 

A car was procured, and the father and daughter 
went away in it to the apartments provided for 
them. 

For some days Miss O^Brien did not think it right 
to intrude on their privacy ; hut when a note came 
asking her to go to them, she instantly compKed* 

The scene that was taking place on her arrival at 
the lodgings was at once awfully solemn, and in- 
tensely interesting, and curious. 

The fact was now patent : all the town knew it. 
Mr. Fitz waiter, who had not c?w/atthe Hibernia 
some years ago, was now, really*and truly, in the act 
of dying, extremu, at that moment— moribund, 
while the law was at length taking cognizance of his 
life ! Strange anomaly, the proof of existence was 
being sought in the presence of death ! 

A number of persons were assembled in the cham- 

« 

her, where lay the unconscious form of the well-re- 
membered Me John Fitzwalter, Esq. 

Miss Fitzwalter had summoned all whom it might 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


193 


concern to know the truth of this singular casCj to 
witness the fact that her father was alwe, and^ lOj 
they came to behold his death ! 

Dr. Green was not there ; Mrs, M^Swincy was not 
there ; the former sub -sheriff was not there. All these 
three had gone to render their account of their com- 
mon fraud. If or were the wife^ the brother, nor the 
son of the departing man around his bed. 

Instead of these familiar and long unseen faces, 
there were those of shrewd, long-headed, sagacious 
men, learned in legal subtleties, and wise in detecting 
tricks and disguises. The creditors of the Fitz waiter 
estate were there, either personally or by attorney, and 
all were in deep, serious, agitating debate. 

The question of identification was incomplete, 
Not one of them coidd swear that the emaciated crea- 
ture, now passing into eternity, was the same man 
who, a few short years before, had been actiyely en- 
gaged in circulating their cash, and enjoying all the 
indulgences of wealth and luxury. 

The di^culty was increasing when Miss O^Brien 
arriyed. Some of the creditors were very dubicus, as 
to whether this new feature of the swindle,” as they 
called it, might not be a fresh ruse. Who knew the 


o 


194 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE, 


young lady herself ? and Yrho could possibly recog- 
nise ill these death -like lineaments the face of a per- 
son who had not been seen for so long a tmOj and 
on whose brow age and viciseitude had wrought such 
disturbing effects ? 

Tliis was a posing question. No one could solve 
it. 

Miss Fitzwalter sat at the bedside^ and, in mute 
distress, offered the testimony of her conduct in ad- 
dition to the statement she had already made to her 
visitors. By a gesture, she motioned Miss O'Brien 
to her side, and they sat together, intently and silently, 
watchiug the parting breath. 

Meantime, more people arrived, and at every mo- 
ment some new face entered the room and gazed 
earnestly on the dying man. One with an intelligent 
glance would occasionally just look, and go out, 
apparently satisfied ; and then others, more cautious, 
or more curious, would remain, and pry into the fea- 
tures, even raise the head and examine the hair of 
the patient. ^ 

Some person in the outer room seemed to be taking 
down the depositions of each party as he returned 
from his inspection ; and a legal, close form of ack- 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


195 


nowledgment of the fact of Mr. Fitz waiter’s identity 
was being drawn up and duly attested. 

As the evening shadows fell, the ladies hoped to 
see the company depart and leave the debtor to deal 
with his final accoimt. 

During the day Mr. Fitzwalterhad given evidence 
of some remaining vitality. He received, from time 
to time, spoonfuls of stimulant and nourishment, and, 
as yet, his system appeared to answer to the resto- 
ratives. His relentless creditors were greatly de- 
lighted at the prospect of his possible recovery. 
This may require explanation. In family settle- 
ments, in Ireland, as elsewhere, the owner, on his 
marriage, is made tenant for life ; the remainder of 
the estate is then settled upon the eldest son, subject 
to a jointure and portions. The longer the tenant 
for life lives, the better is it for his creditors. This 
was Mr. Fitzwalter’s case. Accordingly, if the 
creditors cbuld show that any person intercepted any 
of the rents, in the name either of the eldest son or 
the jointress, or the daughters, while the tenant for 
life was still living, the creditors could sue for 
the sums so received by him. They could also, 
of course, enjoy the rents and profits of the 


196 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


estate during the continuance of Mr. Fitz waiter's 
life. It was obviously, therefore, the interest of the 
creditors to establish the fact of his being still 
living, and of their consequently having been de- 
frauded of the rents since the time when his supposed 
death took place. 

Darkness settled on the chamber of death. A 
lamp was lighted, and its dim glimmer revealed the 
continued presence of the unsatisfied claimants, who 
went in and out, making sure of that body which 
should soon be amenable to another habem corpus than 
theirs. 

Miss Fitz waiter was invited to come into the 
adjoining room, in order to hold a conference with 
the gentlemen, who had at length arrived at their 
decision. She arose and went out, leaving Miss 
O^Brien the sole guard of her dying father. 

As soon as she was left alone. Miss O'Brien, with 
true womanly instincts, began to arrange the disordered 
apartment, and while she was so occupied was startled 
by the abrupt entrance of a man in the garb of a 
common foot-soldier. He came in by the door that 
opened from the bed- room out on the lobby, and his 
doing so could not have been seen by those who were 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


197 


in the sitting-room, into which, also, there was a 
means of communication ^hrom Mr* Fitz waiter's 
room. 

He looked hard at Miss O'Brien, and seeing that 
she was unknown to him, apologized Yery respectfully, 

“ I beg your pardon, madam, but I'ye just come 
into the town, *aiid every one is talking of Mr. 
Fitz waiter's being found alive, but dying, and that 

V 

no one can identify him. I ought to he able to do 
so. Where is he P 

She pointed to the bed, and threw the full light of 
the lamp upon it. The new comer groaned, and fell 
upon his knees at the bedside, drawing the curtain 
over himself, and in his agony of spirit, desiring to 
liide his emotion from the eyes of every human 
being* It was young John Fitzwalter, whose regi- 
ment had recently entered a county town not very 
far from Xildine. 

Soon after he had assumed this attitude, some of the 
same people that had been haunting the room all day 
came in, and with them Mies Fitz waiter. She ap- 
proached the dying man, and tenderly addressing 
him, said. 

Dearest father, I heHeve that you wish, 


198 


THE REDEEMPT) ESTATE. 


in this your last hour, to do the only justice 
you* can to those you have injured, and there- 
fore, I agree that they shall take such steps as the 
law dictates for their protection. They demand the 
custody of your person, hut nothing shall separate 
you from my care. You will be their prisoner, but 
shall remain in my charge. They Irust me, and we 
shall he undisturbed while we are together now.’’ 

A slight movement of the hand showed that Mr. 
Fitzwalter had some faint consciousness that he was 
being spoken to ; but it was not enough to warrant any 
further attempt being made to address his intelligence. 

With a very respectful air, one of the men, who 
had entered the room with Miss Fitzwalter, went up 
to the bedside, and placed a paper between the list- 
less fingers of the victim. This ceremonial seemed 
to be of the utmost importance to the creditors ; and 
on its being efiected, a marked result was immediately 
produced. 

There was a good deal of commotion in the room, 
and some of the party made arrangements to proceed 
at once to Knocklash, to take possession of the effects 
there, while it was decided that others should stay 
and keep guard over the captured debtor. 


THE EEHEEMED ESTATE. 


199 


The transactioa was better understood by the object 
of it, than was thought by the actors, for a motion 
was Tisible in the frame, and an agitation distinctly 
traceable in the features. 

The two women present translated the movement 
into a desire for air, and power to breathe more 
freely ; and accordingly raised their patient up, and 
put more pillows under his head. He seconded their 
efforts for his relief, and soon drew a long inspiration : 
I am John Fitz waiter,” he articulated, slowly 
and disjointedly. “ I am taken by death. AVhat 
can I do for you ? 

If a voice had come from spirit-land, there could 
be no greater astonishment in that chamber, than 
was felt by the hearers ; no one was capable of giving 
a reply. 

A thrilling pause succeeded. The flickering life 
had but emitted a glimmer from the socket, and 
rapidly faded down again. 

Mr. Fitzwalter sank off his pillow, and was falling 
sideways, when a strong arm was passed xmder his 
shoulders, and his head placed on a manly breast. 
The soldier had come from bis concealment, and was 
now facing the whole range of his father^ s enemies. 


200 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


There stood the assembled creditors, and there lay 
John Fitz waiter, returned from his supposed grave ! 
At one side stood his daughter; and, supporting his 
almost lifeless fonn, was the son for whom he had 
sacrificed so much. ^ 

Miss Fitz waiter was transfixed with amazement, 
but neither she nor her brother thought of each other. 
Both their minds were absorbed in the passing events 
— their father^s battle with death, and with his 
creditors. The silence was broken by the young 
soldier, who declared his determination to take on 
himself the whole burden of his father’s liabili- 
ties. 

The witnesses were numerous and competent, and 
his words decided and grave. The state of afiairs 
was changed, and young John Fitz waiter took the 
place of the old. 

The son was served with a writ, instead of the. 
father, and he went that night to a debtor’s cell, that 
his father might die on a freeman’s couch. Towards 
midnight all was over. John Fitz waiter, junior, was 
gone to prison ; John Fitzwalter, senior, had departed 
to meet his eternal doom. The light of another day 


THE REDEEMED ESTATE. 


201 


ushered in a new phase of life for the owners of 
Knocklash. 

The next business Miss Fitz waiter had to consider 
was the rescue of her brother from the embarrass- 
ments he had so readily undertaken. 

She and her sister had been^ for some time, paying 
money into the Courts/^ towards the amount accu- 
mulating for the payment of the debts on the estate, 
some of which being of very old date, bound even 
young John Fitz waiter without any active concur- 
renee on his part. 

The deficit left in the rents by the combined effects 
of famine and emigration was beginning to be filled 
up by the profit of the lace trade. And almost the 
entire of these profits were applied by the matchless 
girls to the liquidation of all the debts honestly due 
on the estate, irrespectively of any legal objections 
to those incurred by their father. 

Creditors were astonished; lawyers were van- 
quished ; the Incumbered Estate Commissioners were 
iinpetitioned ; the Bankruptcy Act was unappealed 
to ; the aid of friends was declined, and all proposals 
for compromise were refused. 


202 


THE KEDEEMED ESTATE. 


The Knocklash estate was cleared of all its encum- 
brances, by monies which were derived from three 
sources — the sale of its timber, the proceeds of its 
rents, and the profits of the crochet lace ! 

The amount of the last item was just equal to two- 
thirds of the second ; and this was no small sum, to 
have been contributed by women, who had earned it 
by their genius, dexterity, and industry ! 

The future settlement of these ladies in life was 
commensurate vfith their so faithful a discharge of 
filial and sisterly duties. But though now enjoying 
all the sweets of hardly-earned opulence, together 
with the prestige of ancient descent, they find their 
greatest happiness to consist in the contemplation of 
the noble and heroic virtues they displayed in the 
trying years of the famine. 







CHAPTER I. 

/ 


The winter of 1850 was peculiarly damp, and inju- 
rious to the enfeebled frames of the famine- stricken 
inhabitants of the low lying districts of Carriginis. 
Fever and ague prevailed, and many lingering and 
depressing forms of disease abounded. The attend- 
ance of children at the industrial schools was not, 
however, diminished by these afflictive circumstances ; 
on the contrary, strange to say, they seemed largely 
to increase it. 

The apartments were comfortable ; dry and clean 

0 

shelter was offered to those whose cold, miserable 
homes were decaying around them ; the good fires, 
and, above all, the daily paid earnings of their work, 
attracted crowds into these institutions. 


206 


MARY DESMO™. 


The classes in them became Tery fuUj^ and the col- 
lection of workers formed that winter was the 
nucleus of the famous Carriginis Lace Schools. Many 
of the most pitiable objects, that entered the Rebef 
Boom,” opened in the town of Carriginis, were after- 
wards the best hands, and the chief fridts of the cul- 
tivation of the lace genius, in that industrial estab- 
lishment* 

Out of the numbers who tried their powers on 
the sort of work taught there, many were un- 
successful, and did not continue to practise what 
they learned* But failure was not the rule, it was 
the exception* 

It is a strong assertion, but, nevertheless, a true 
one, that in every case a certain amount of neat, 
adroit handicraft was e\dnced, though, in some 
instances, it was extremely difficult to utilize 
it* 

Habits of vagranc}'^ and idleness operated against 
the control of capabilities which were, occasionally, 
of a high order, and generally very susceptible of 
improvement* Any girls who would not undertake 
the process of learning to become good crochet-lace 
makers, usually went off to ephemeral branches of 


:MARY DESMOND. 


207 


women’s ornamental work, such as hair-net making, 
and fancy woollen knitting ; and in the regular lace 
school were seen no more. 

The lace pupils had to undergo severe tests; and if, 
with patient, painstaking, and diligent industry, they 
came well through these, there was much to hope. For 
a victory was won — a victory the magnitude of which 
can only be estimated by those who are familiar with 
the characteristics of Irishwomen — their ready quick- 
ness of perception, and lively faculties of imagination 
and imitation, combined with a versatility that car- 
ries them brilliantly into many an undertaking ; but, 
alas, these qualities seldom last them through the 
first serious encounter with difficulties ; and they 
are too often foiled, by the early trials that beset 
a life of labour. 

Wherever a steady determination to become a good 
lacemaker was formed, there a grand moral cause 
was gained, and a conversion from self-indulgence to 
self-subjection was obtained : the girl who arrived at 
that point had overcome the peculiar obstacle which 
stands in the way of Ireland’s progress. It is the 
nature of the children of her soil, to seek to enjoy 
that whereon they bestow no labour, and to crave 


208 


MARY DES^rOKB. 


aad claim the advantage of wages, for ^yo^k they do 
not perform. 

Among the earliest of the workers who overcame 
the tendency of her race to refuse the hardships of 
a training process, was Mary Desmond. She was a 
thorough-bred Celt, and developed her compound of 
bright talents and unwillingness to apply them to 
any useful purpose, most distinctly. Her face and 
form were the beau ideal of Irish beauty ; and she 
was a weU- grown girl of sixteen, when she made her 
d-ebui at the lace school. A native grace and elegance 
were shown in every movement of her nicely pro- 
portioned figure; but the expressiveness of her 
face was most truly exhibited in the light of her 
dark grey eye, which gleamed intermittingly, ac- 
cording as her feelings went through their emotional 
cycle. 

Mary Desmond would have made a model for an 
artist* Her very rags were picturesque. It was a 
matter of surprise, how she collected them to suit 
her so exactly* They could not have been selected, 
her poverty forbade that, and how they were assem- 
bled in so well contrasted a group of colours and 
shades, and how they himg upon her, so as to drape 


MAHY DESMOND, 


909 


her according to the laws of taste and liarmon y, were 
mysteries, deepened by the knowledge of the way 
in which Irish beggars obtain their clothing. 

The pieces of garments that composed her raiment 
must haye come to her from the most yarious sources ; 
a soldier's scarlet coat, denuded of its tails, formed 
the upper part of her dress, and the continuation 
was a petticoat, made of an old blue baize bathing 
dress. Beneath these she had nothing whateyer, 
and beside them only a yellow cotton handkerchief, 
tied loosely round her neck. Her feet were entirely 
naked, and they never had experienced the restraint 
of either shoes or stockings. 

Soon after she came to the school, a benevolent 
lady gave her an old pair of boots, and another be- 
stowed a bonnet on her. These unaccustomed articles 
she always set aside carefully on wet days, and only 
on special occasions, and in very bright sunny wea- 
ther, put them on, 

Erra, why would I be spoiling them she used 
to reply, when it was remarked that they were spe- 
cially given for protection against cold and rain; 
“ sure my hair is as well able to keep my head warm 


p 


210 


MARY DESMOND. 


as a horse’s mane, and my feet have soles as good as 
any leather.”* 

Her rough locks showed^ that they were fitted to 
her condition, for they seemed to cover her like a 
thatch, and to be capable of any amount of extension 
over her neck and shoulders. Whenever she got into 
a fit of excitement, she used to untie the cord that 
bound them at the back of her head, and suffer the 
whole mass of bright, brown, wavy hair, to tumble 
over her neck and shoulders ; people called them her 
thunder clouds. 

The only account that could be got of her was her 
own very short history of herself, and this had to 
be elicited by questioning, for she was not commu- 
nicative on the subject. 

Where did you come from ?” she was asked the 
first day of her appearance. 

No where, ma^ara.” 

Have you a father or mother ?” 

‘^No, ma’am.” 

Where do you live ?” 

With the Gormans, ma’am.” 

This was the name of two sisters that had been 
some time in the school. They were labourers^ 


MAHY DESMOND, 


211 


daughters, and were known to have a good home, 
and honest, worthy parents* Their story of Mary 
Desmond was, that she joined them as they sat at 
work at the road side, and offered to help at a piece 
of edging : and that, finding she knew the stitch, 
they let her take on with them* She then proposed 
to live with them, and earn her keep^^ at crochet 
work* This was kindly agreed to, and the arrange- 
ment was found to answer* Such a plan was not 
uncommon among poor neighbours, and was an 
evidence of much good feeling ; and also a proof tha^ 
the famous old Irish generosity and hospitality were 
not extinct, and were not nn frequently more dis- 
tinctly to be seen in that class, where their presence 
would be less expected than in ranks very far above 
it in the social scale* 

It is most likely that the Grormans derived no profit 
from Mary Desmond^s work, in any respect save the 
consciousness that they werereHeving *^apoorwand- 
thering girl,^* and “ may he saving her from a had 
end*"' This benevolence of the poor to the poor, is 
very rarely abused among the Irish, The obliga- 
tion incurred thereby, forms a peculiar responsibility, 
and protects the conferrers of it from any vicious 


212 


MARY DESMOND. 


propensities, that their proteges may possess ; and 
this is so well understood, that people do not fear to 
receive as an inmate for charity^ those whom they 
would not entertain on any other terms. 


CHAPTEU II. 


Only the Prench can describe the power of such 

hands as Mary Deamond^s* Her performance with 

the crochet needle, when her skill was at its height, 

was mcredihle ; it was an art~a sort of legerdemain 

—known only to herself, something that she 
% 

worked, as she said, ^^out of her own head''— a 
notion stereotyped in thread* Her introduction to 
the use of the hooked needle, was through the prepara- 
tory practice of edging making, and, in this stage, the 
productions of her nimble fingers were admirable, 
while the complete indocility of her mind was a 
serious trouble* 

Orders for himdreds of dozen-yard-pieces of trim- 
mings, of a certain pattern, were frequently giyen 
by wholesale warehouses, and bnyers from them began 
0 Tisit the Carriginis school every season, and used, 
themselves, to impress their instructions on the 


214 


MARY XJESMOXD. 


TTorkersj Tvith the stiniulus of promises of good pay ; 
and yet tLe girls couldj with difficulty^ be induced to 
perform what was required from them- 

Mary Desmond, like the rest, was almost sure to 
have agreed to the terms proposed ; and still, when 
the day came to take in the goods, an extraordinary 
failure, in the performance of the contract, on the 
part of the hands, was of constant occurrence, and 
ifary was more frequently the culprit than any 
other pupil in the school. The superintendent was 
always in a dilemma, caused by this insubordination. 
Her daily complaint was, the impossibility of execut- 
ing the regular orders, though a great amount of 
exquisite work could be procured from the girls- 
The feeling of the whole school was expressed in 
Mary Desmond^ s reply to an inquiry, instituted to 
discover the cause of this disobedience ; and it was 
anything but satisfactory to find that the seat 
of the mischief was a radical force, one of those 
strange inclinations of nature, that direct alike the 
moYements of the individual and the species, and are 
as unaccountable in the plant as in the animal, 

Mary, this is not the pattern you were to have 
made,*^ 


MAKY DESMO^'D, 


215 


Sure I know it ma^am, I don^t want to ini' 
pose on yoUj nor on the gentleman-” 

WeU, why did you not make the one you were 
* told?” 

Is it that ugly old things ma-am ? I neyer could 
do such a lot of bothersome work ; it would tire the 
life out of me — all the same^^all along, row upon row 
— I hated to he at it, so I stopped, and then the girls 
patthemed by me. I'm to blame, indeed, for I put 
the spirit into them, or they would' nt haye dared to 
do any hut the right thing through alL” 

Then I wish you would cease inspiriting them to 
do wrong to me, and injure themselves/' 

Oh, ma'am, we wouldn't wrong you for all 
the world, and we'd be as far from injuring our- 
selves.” 

But you have done both most effectually in this 
instance, and I will not pay you for labour that is 
not according to the agreement you made/' 

“You don't mean, ma'am, that you won't take in 
these edgings, and give us our money for them?" 

“ Just that exactly/' 

“ Oh ! you never wiU ruin us that way. What on 
earth, ma'am, would we do with them ? ^^Tio'd 


216 


MARY DESMOND- 


take them from us ? Sure the cotton is yours, and 
the pattern is youra, and no one has a right to ^em 
hut your own self, and you^ll have to get ^cm from 
US- We must sell to you anyhow-” 

But I don't want them- They are not what I 
require- Marsland^s order was the Shamrock edging 
at five ehillings a dozen. He won't take Pim for 
Shamrock y I can assure you, nor shall I offer it 
to him-” 

Then raly, ma'am, he is a gi'eat fool, for it's 
worth nearly double the money ; and it is good value 
we're giving him-” 

Nonsense, it is you that are fools, to give him 
more work than he wants for the money. It is 
waste of time and material, for he won't have it. 
He and other dealers are particular to have the goods 
like the sample. They select for their market ; they 
know what they can sell ; you have no business to 
suggest, or to dictate in the matter,” 

No doubt, ma'am, we ought to have Icnown better, 
hut we didn't, you see ; so, this once, don't lay the 
trouble on ns of going home without our week's 
money; buy it from us yourself, and some other dealer 
will take it from you, and you'll lose nothing by it.” 


MARY DESMOND. 


217 


I knew it would come to tliisj and that I should 
have your labour at my own price; but it is not 
what I desire, and it is not~as you suppose— no loss, 
but the reyerse. Our customer is disappointed, and 
perhaps injured ; he is yery mucli annoyed, and will 
certainly in future hold our engagements in dis- 
respect. I am made ashamed, when I promise for 
you, and you fail to fulfil my agreement. We 
enter on the compact with a fair understanding on 
both sides, and I must say, it is very humiliating to 
me when I am obliged to be a defaulter in this way/^ 
“ For pity^s sake, say no more, ma^’am, dear, we 
are melted to think that you should be put out about 
it. Take the edging for whateyer you please to give 
for it, and we’ll work our fingers to the bone to make 
good your w^ord to the gentleman.” 

This was a specious flouidsh, meant to mollify the 
superintendent’s anger. Mary well knew that there 
was no time for completing the engagement. It was a 
matter more easily said than done ; and she had no 
intention whatever of trying to perform her promise. 

The superintendent had the pine pattern as 
bargain,” and was left to get out of the affair with her 
correspondent as well as she could. 


218 


MARY DESMOND. 


A bargain, indeed ! No greater misconception of 
the nature of a bargain was ever formed. For what- 
ever price the article was obtained, it could not be 
a bargain.^^ It would probably lie a whole year on 
hand, and when a speculating customer was found 
to take it, he invariably required it on some such 
terms as those on which it had been bought, and, 
finally, had it for a sum as much below its cost as it 
had been obtained beneath its intrinsic worth from the 
makers. No amount of reasoning could convey to 
the girls any idea of the evil influence which the 
system of selling bargains,’’ had on the trade. It 
afiected it perniciously from beginning to end. First, 
it injured the workers themselves, by deranging their 
perception of the value of their labour, and by de- 
stroying, from the very outset, their power of dictat- 
ing a price for it. Then, instead of the managers 
being able to pay them, according to the amount of 
skill and taste displayed in their work, and time 
devoted to its manufacture, their uncertainty in 
producing anything to order,” made it necessary 
for them to purchase from them, on terms protective 
of themselves, against the refusal of the market to 


MARY DESMOND. 


219 


take the g‘oods offered^ in place of those which it 
required. 

Often, when they were deluged by the workers 
with specimens of wild industry, they had just to 
surrender them to purchasers for whatever they 
would give for them, and so the progress of the mis- 
chief was promoted, which eventually made the 
whole business irregular, and imsatisfactory to the 
commercial world. 

As the school increased, it became necessary to 
arrange a system of monitors, and in selecting these 
due regard had, of course, to be paid to the qualifica- 
tions needful for such a post. Mary fought hard to 
be raised to this rank. She urged that her undis- 
puted position as “ best hand,^' entitled her to the 
elevation. 

Her unrivalled skill pointed her out as the most 
competent to instruct in manipulation, but there was, 
in the known faults of her character, a serious im- 
pediment to her being so promoted. 

With the superintendent she frequently argued her 
case, and dwelt upon it in every form as a crying 
shame,” and an injustice.” 

“Will you raly tell me, ma^'am, why you puts 


220 


MART DESMOND, 


that stupid Ann Thomas over us, and makes the 
likes of me, that she can^t hold a candle to, in regard 
of workj be iinder her thumb ? Is it because she is 
a Protestant? That’s the way all through the 
country : they gets the best berths and all the 
good places, while us, that can beat ’em hollow at 
anything we wish to do, is kept down/’ 

Mary, you neither read nor write, and Ann can 
do both, and keep accounts too ; and, then, you know, 
that you cannot be depended on to obey orders, and 
she has been brought up to do so, and to keep her 
word,” 

Her word ! Why then, aren’t you yery simple 
ma’am? "\Vhat word has she, or any other poor 
creature, but to betther themselves? If she don’t 
chate in male, she will in malt, as you’ll discover 
some day to your cost, I hates those people that are 
putindin’ to be so very honest, and always praching 
to us to tell the truth, as if every one don’t tell 
lies some time or other/’ 

This uncomfortable misunderstanding as to re- 
ligious disability, was widely diffused ; and it took a 
long period of consistent management, before the 
principles on which the business of the school was 


MARY DESMOND. 


221 


conducted were vindicated. But, in time, tlieir worth 
was learned by many ; and some were trained into 
those habits of steadiness and veracity that they 
formerly despised. It was not easy to inculcate this 
lesson; it was conveyed mainly through example, for 
in the Carriginis lace school it was a fundamental 
rule, that no abstract teaching should be given, and 
on the subject of duty, perfect silence was obh- 
gatory, because the managers, being Protestant 
ladies, could not, from the nature of the rehgious 
differences that existed between them and the Ro- 
manist workers, enter on the moral training of those 
they undertook to help, in the form of regular 
instruction. However, they did that which was pro- 
bably, under the circumstances, more effective : they 
demonstrated practically to the unwilling learners, 
that there is no better policy than honesty, and that 
successful industry is inseparable from morality. 

It was slow work to impress this on the pupils, for 
the masses were Mary Desmonds, the units Ann 
Thomases. 

When the art of copying old lace began to be 
taught in the school, troubles arising from the un- 
conscientious tendencies of the workers accumulated 


222 


MART DESMOKIJ, 


to a distracting pitcli ; and a plan had to be adopted 
of dividing the pattex'ns into seetionSj and getting the 
different portions of them made by several hands sim- 
ultaneously, This had the effect of producing the 
goods rapidly, controlling their price, and of pre- 
venting the pirating of the designs, all of which 
measures were of great importance to the business ; 
and they also acted very efficiently in distributing 
the employment, and protecting it from the non- 
execution of orders, which was of such frequent 
recurrence, before this system of subdivision was 
devised, 

Mary Desmond and her companions became much 
more manageable under the new regime; it afforded 
good means for classifying the workers and gave 
each one an opportunity for showing her peculiar 
capacities. 

These were very various. Some of the girls had 
decided genius for forming the pieces of which the 
patterns were composed; others had singular taste and 
expression, in combining and assembling them into 
suitable gx^oups* 

Mary Desmond was of the former class ; her 
intelligence made her the regular model ^'bit 


MARY DESMOND. 


223 


maker of the school. When a new design was 
required, it was she that was usually selected to plan 
the scrolls, foliage, flowers, &c., and it was most in- 
teresting to observe how she seized on modes of ex- 
pressing the ideas conveyed to her by the rags of 
old lace that were laid before her. 

She had an intuitive perception of what was required 
to be done, and generally, after a few hours of patient 
and laborious application, she handed in a bit,^^ of 
beautiful proportions and exquisite needle-work, the 
stitches being chosen with a fine sense of suitability, 
and the character of the study being admirably 
preserved. 

The artistic faculties were largely possessed by 
Mary, and use strengthened them considerably ; so 
that, after some time, her original compositions were 
very striking, and the contributions she made to the 
number and variety of the bit stock, out of which 
the pieces of lace were formed, were very important. 
But in cultivating her genius, there was ever that 
immense inconvenience to be encountered, of deal- 
ing with her moral condition, in which there was 
always as much room for improvement, as when 
she began edging making at the road-side; and 


224 


MARY DESMOND, 


her deviations from the path of rectitude were j perhaps^ 
even more apparent, according as her opportunities for 
exhibiting them increased. 

The rule of the Carriginis lace school was, that the 
superintendent should issue, every day, orders for the 
making of certain "^hits/^ which formed the com- 
ponent parts of a special pattern, and which was 
adapted to make collars, sleeves, berthas, flounces, &c., 
and aU other articles of ladies’ dress, to which lace is 
applicable ; and these bits/’ and no others, the 
girls were desired to make. All that they could work 
of them in the day, were received at a stipulated price, 
and, if perfect, passed to their credit ; if ill made, 
they were either rejected as utterly valueless, or 
received and paid for, according to what they were 
worth. 


The making up of the accounts with each girl, 
was the most trying duty the superintendent had 
to perform ; and for it she required the sharpness 
of a detective, together with a perfect knowledge of 
her business ; and any dulness or weakness displayed 
in this matter would soon place her at the mercy of the 
workers. When the eetthng hour arrived, no worker, 
not even the acute Mary Desmond, could tell a good 


MARY DESMOND. 


225 


“ bit from a bad one ; and all the little bundles into 
which every girl had tied her day^s work, had to be 
opened and reviewed. Oh, the differences of opinion 
then expressed ! Though a tendency to deceit was 

but too common, on the whole, a good deal of natural 

• 

uprightness was found amongst the girls. Some 
were amenable to the first exposure of imposition, 
and very sensitive to shame ; but others were insen- 
sible to any reproof on the subject, and continued to 
repeat, over and over again, the tricks and artifices, 
by which they sought to overreach the managers. 
Penalties inflicted for these transgressions were no 
checks to them, a few successful attempts amply 
compensating for any loss incurred by being dis- 
covered at other times. Indeed, the triumphs of 
schemers seemed to engage the sympathies of the 
whole school, and they banded themselves together in 
firm opposition to the intelligence of their teachers. 

The uneducated workers soon got quite indepen- 
dent of patterns; and after a short insight into the 
art of lace-making, scorned to be directed in any 
way. They were supported in this independence by 
factors, who bought up their uncultivated productions, 
and who, as long as they were novelties, and showy, 

Q 


226 


MARY DESMOND* 


striking looking goods, found them a profitable in- 

t 

Yestment* 

The competition between these men and the ladies 
who managed the lace- school, was very active ; and 
it kept up the value of girk^ labour in the district of 
Carriginis to an excessive height* 

Mary Desmond took advantage of this very 
cleverly, and the way in which, by these means, she 
and others made money, waa most surprising* The 
cunning they displayed, and the unprincipled 
treachery with which they behaved to eTcry employer, 
gave sad evidence of a very low state of morals* 

It was no wonder, then, that such people as these 
were soon injured hy the influx of money into their 
hands* The acquisition of it constituted a tempta- 
tion that they could not withstand* Mary Desmond 
became the earner of ten shillings a week, and no 
one could have recognized in her, the wild creature 
that had come into the school, an outcast and a 
stranger* She grew to be, as she promised, a very 
handsome woman. She arrested the attention of 
even the most cursory observer, and was to many 
a subject of intense interest and curiosity* 

The family in which she had taken up her abode, 


:\IA11Y DESMOND. 


227 


had two daughters employed at lace-making, and she 
and they were some of the best workers in the school. ' 
They led the rest of the hands, and their perform- 
ances were models of adroitness and skill; they 
dictated prices, too, and^ made their influence felt 
through the whole establishment. The classes who 
could not compose their own designs, nor get up the 
goods to order, unless their requirements were sup- 
plied by the “ bit makers, were completely under 
the control of these girls, and most capriciously 
and wilfully they exercised their power. Adjudica- 
tion between these contending parties was, indeed, a 
difficult task ! 

Not^vithstanding the disagreeable characteristics 
suggested by this kind of conduct, Mary Desmond 
and her friends the Gormans, were the pleasantest 
and most presentable specimens of the fruits of the 
lace manufacture, that were on tl^ie school list. They 
became, in course of time, a trio of interesting, 
well-to-do young people — gay, thoughtless, and 
fond of dress, and amusement, and as improvi- 
dent as they were hardworking. Again and again 
were they each urged to save, and to be economi- 
cal. ^‘Line upon line, precept upon precept,^’ were 


228 


MART DESMOND. 


addressed to them unavaUinglj. It was of no use to 
speak to them on such subjects ; they were always 
turned off with a laugh or a joke, and no admonition 
had the least effect. 

Fine clothes were a great snare to them, hut a 
Temperance Ball was a greater one. ‘When the walls 
were placarded with notices of one of these customary 
Sunday entertainments, it was sure to cost these 
girls at least a fortnight's work — a week before 
it took place, to prepare their personal decorations, 
and speculate on probable intrigues, and a week after 
it was over, to idle and follow up the fun,” that 
was created on the occasion. 

The advocates of total abstinence from intoxicating 
liquors, by a strange contradiction of their principles, 
allowed themselves to be led into a very intemperate 
course, wdth regard to amusements. Under their 
auspices proceedings went on, that were far from 
furthering good and virtuous living, and could 
scarcely promote that self-denial, which is the basis 
from which springs the good that teetotalism aims 
at. 

Everj" faction that gains sway in Ireland does so 
by pandering to the lowest tastes of its people, and 


MARY DESMOND. 


229 


that which is now tincturing its politics most in- 
juriously, used its earliest powers in organizing 
and amusements, under the name of the Temper- 
ance Movement.’^ The great apostle of the cause 
had nothing whatever to do with this, nor did it 
dare to incorporate itself with his noble institution, 
until his saintly head was enveloped in the mists and 
shadows that clouded his last days. It began when 
his personal and vigorous inspection ceased ; and the 
retirement of the great and good old man from his 
simple-hearted labour, was the signal for a host of 
double-minded, traitorous men, lay and clerical, to 
come forward and seize the machine he had con- 
trived as an engine for good, and turn it to the base 
use of treasonable excitement. 

Assemblies, for all purposes of a popular and enter- 
taining kind, were abundantly encouraged by these 
designers. There were innumerable meetings arranged 
for tea, music, exhibitions, and excursions, all calcu- 
lated to catch the fancy of the lately famine-harassed 
poor, and to beguile from them their newly obtained 
earnings. It is amazing how soon this highly con- 
trasted state of society set in. The change was 
electrically sudden. 


230 


MAEY DESMOND. 


Lace^making no sooner brought in money j than 

Temperance Institutes'^ spent it, just as the simoom 
makes sport of the luxurious harvest of a tropical 
clime. 

The active^ lively^ giddy girls, who were in receipt 
of such good wages, that they might have intro- 
duced a new era of prosperity for their families, were 
the easy victims of this intoi^icatmg system. Aye, 
intoxicating ! The “ Temperance Band'"^ hronght in 
a new and insidious form, a poison into the hearts 
and souls of the poor, untutored multitude, which 
worked as rapid a destruction as ever drink did, in 
the mind and body of man. 

The crochet girls were the peculiar prey of the 
diseased action. Joining a “ Temperance Room'' 
sealed their ruin. Bor, alas ! no training in right 
ways was found there. It was not the rule within 
its walls to cease to do evil, and learn to do 
well/^ No such thing ! In it the influence was all 
vicious. There met the young, and the old, the gay, 
the vain, the virtuous, and the bad ; and these all of 
the most ignorant and unrestrained portion of the 
population. 


MARY DESMOND. 


231 


No impro^ang element was added in the form 
kind and elevating teaching. No friendly mind 
came forward to assist their mental culture, and 
induce them to try to rise and progress towards a 
better condition. This it was not the object of their 
leaders to accomplish. The very opposite was the 
purpose they had in view. The perpetuation of 
ignorance, and consequent capability of being made 
useful for the ends of persons whose schemes were 
more personally ambitious than patriotic or political, 
were the true secrets of the interference that promoted 
the people’s amusements.” 

The scenes connected with these specious and 
well-developed plans, for misleading the masses on 
which they operated, and the public that observed 

them, were wholly at variance with any scheme for 

• « 

the benefit of a population just issuing from pau- 
perism to prosperity, and passing over the initiative 
threshold of civilization. With headlong haste the 
lace-makers indulged their new'born powers, and 
with ardent zeal their superiors in education rushed 
to receive them into a delusive arena, called the 
“ Temperance Society.” This association had its dis- 


232 


MATIY DESIifOND, 


triets >vell planned out, and each carefully superin- 
tended. It had its rooms,” hands, meetings, and 
soirees, and all these were pressed on the working 
classes by a twofold force —-that of the immediate pro- 
moters of the organization, and that of the benevolent 
public, who were deceived into admiration of its 
apparently philanthropic labours. 

Yery soon after the influence of this society began 
to be perceptible in the community, the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy set itself against it most com- 
mendably, and tried hard to restore order in the 
ranks of its recusant flock. But its efforts .were 
unavailing. The sheep were gone astray, and could 
not he brought back by any energy it was able to 
exert. 

“ Oon fraternities,^^ religious exercises, and various 
sorts of discipline, were resorted to by the clergy 
with very little success. They met the most imcon- 
querable spirit of opposition to their teachings in the 
wild rush of excitement and folly, that pervaded the 
hosts of their followers, who were still engaged in the 
industrial pursuits provided for them in the time of 
their adversity. There was a special aggravation in 
the idea, that these well-intentioned instrumentalities 


MARY DESMOND. 


233 


should thus have become the medium of strengthening 
the hands of the old enemies of order and good 
faith to the English crown, and should have intro- 
duced a condition, rife in mischievous capacities. 


CHAPTER III. 


The extraordinary agencies that have beeiij from 
time to timej made use of, to further the movements 
of the young Ireland party^ seldom come under the 
notice of the British public. It is little aware that 
anything so innocuous as lace-making/^ could^ bj 
any possibility ^ be pressed into the service of politics* 
And yet such was the case* 

The peaceful, holy work of the teacher of honest 
labour to idle hands, was abruptly interrupted, and 
the converse of the old saying seemed to be proved, 
for now Satan^s powe¥ was also connected with busy 
fingers, 

Mary Desmond, the beauty of the lace- school, had 
about as active and diligent a pair of hands as any 
woman in the kingdom, and yet she was not exempt 
from the attacks of the arch-enemy* 

When she had reached her twentieth year, and was 


DESMOND. 


235 


in tlie Ml bloom of her primOj a circamstanee occurred 
that greatly tended to encourage her personal yanitj". 

A lady, one of the patronesses of the school, who was 
studying in a school of design, wanted a subject for 
a painting, and selected Mary as her model. This 
led to frequent visits to the house of the artist, and 
much intercourse between the imtutored girl and per- 
sons of a class of whom she had had no preYions 
knowledge, 

Mary was a close observer of persons and things. 
She saw, and heard a great deal in the house of her 
patroness, of which she took notice, in a most 
especial manner. It was a great field of interest to her. 
The lady to whom she sat as a study, was a T?ery 
cloTer caricaturist ; and her room contained a great 
number of drawings of the sort in which she excelled. 
They were illustrative of persons and ciistoms, and 
highly expository of Irish affairs, viewed from a 
Protestant stand- point. 

Mary Desmond took this all in at a glance. She * 
knew the originals of several of the pictures by sight, 
and by character ; she understood the situations, and 
she at once perceived that it was a discovery worth 
making, to have this exhibition granted to her. She 


236 


MARY DESMOXD. 


was a true, thorough Romanist. Her priest held, she 
thought, her soul in his hand. That subtle essence of 
her being, that connected her with an eternity of bliss 
or woe, was in his keeping ; and, therefore, he was 
to her the creature of the highest importance in her 
universe ! 

This object of her supreme veneration was in this 
profane room in effigy. A sketch portrayed a priest 
notorious as a temperance orator enjoying a steam- 
ing glass of spirits and water. 

‘‘ Oh, holy father ! ’’ Mary inwardly groaned, is 
this the way that the Proddys tell lies of you 

‘‘ Mary,’’ said Miss Black, ‘‘ look at the spot I 
* told you, and not at Father James.” 

I wasn’t noticing him. Miss,” she replied, with 
one of her most bewitching smiles, but in her heart, 
she added, “ I’ll be even with you, some day, for that 
picture.” 

Miss Black’s father held a high and lucrative situa- 
tion in the public service. He had filled it long and 
honourably, and was as much esteemed in domestic 
and social life, as in civic and official circles. His 
family had been creditably reared, and brought up 
to occupy a most respectable sphere of life. Two of 


MARY DESMOND. 


237 


his sons were preparing to enter on professional 
careers; and he had saved a decent provision for 
his only daughter. Mr. Black was happy and 
prosperous, and had all the allowable pride of a man 
who had made for himself the good position that he 
held. 

Such a man must, of necessity, have enemies, and 
Mr. Black was not without his ; they were not many, 
and they were not troublesome. Sometimes he for- 
got their existence, and when he did remember them, 
it was with scornful contempt, for anything they could 
possibly do to him. In his employment he possessed 
the confidence of the Government, and also of the 
public ; and private, petty, mean spites he considered 
beneath his notice. Miss Black was engaged to be 
married to a good and wealthy man ; and this fact, 
which formed the sum of her happiness, made, too, a 
large element in her father^s. 

Altogether, they were a very pleasant family 
group, and with a mother on whom the calm time of 
age had crept unconsciously, and who had settled 
into a state of placid enjoyment at her comfortable 
fireside, nothing seemed wanting to complete their 
prospects of social felicity. 


238 


MAllY Dl^SMOND, 


Mrs. Black took a great fancy to ker. daughter's 
protegee, Mary Desmond vas made not only a 
model ill the studio, but an inmate in the house ; and 
was admired, and made so much of, that she was 
rendered beside herself with vanity. But it was 
wonderful how well she conducted herself through 
her honours. Mrs. Black interested herself to dis- 
cover the antecedents of the girl, and finding that 
some mystery was connected with them, became in- 
creasingl}^ ansious to try and give Mary that feeling 
of desire to maintain her respectabihty, which so 
often forsakes those who have no friends to be hurt 
or grieved by their fall into evil ways. 

The family loaded Mary with favours, pre- 
sents, good advice, and instruction. They had her 
taught to read and write, and encouraged her as 
much as possible to advance in acquiring some little 
literary knowledge. This she resisted somewhat, and 
seemed to find literary work exceedingly tiresome ; 
but, on the whole, their efforts took some effect, and 
she became finally much improved from the associa- 
tions with gentlefolks, and got a degree of polish and 
manner, which, grafted on her natural disposition, 
increased its powers of attraction amazingly. 


MAllY DESMOND* 


239 


ilary Desmond, when Miss Blacji^s picture of her 
was gracing the walls of the school of art, was a dif- 
ferent looking person from' the rough, tawdry, awk- 
ward girl that had been boisterously lively in the 
erochet-schook Her voice was toned down, her air 
softened, and her dress, of course, wholly altered* 
While the artistic element was still evident in its 
colours and fonn, a change had come over the 
play of her features ; Mary's countenance had a sub- 
dued pensive expression, that was unknown to it in 
former days* Her eyes, those full deep orbs, that 
used to flash and kindle at every emotion, were now 
quiet, still, and dark* They had a light in them of 
astonishing brilliancy, but it was hid by a sort of 
veiling efibrt, and there was a singular and remark- 
able power of character betrayed by her every 
gesture* 

Mary Desmond was not quite a servant in Mr* 
Black's household* Domestic work was entirely out 
of her line. She sewed, made her beautiful lace, and 
Avaited on the ladies, sat Avith them sometimes, and 
heard and saw all they said and did* 

Mrs* Black could not prevail on Mai'y to learn any 
other employment than that of needle-Avork* Wo- 


240 


MARY DESMOND. 


manly duties^ in the way of pro’vdding food and at- 
tending to other necessities of eivilized life, she would 
not acquire. It was very amusing to hear her argu- 
ing with her mistress on this subject, 

^^Ah, ma'^am, don’t be vexing yourself; I’ll get 
on very well, plaze Giod, I wish you would not he 
saying to me to marry Paddy Giorman : that I won’t, 
you may be sure. All he ever earns is nine shillings 
a week, and I can keep myself better than that with 
my own hands/’ 

“ Indeed, Mary, I’m afraid you would be a bad 
wife for him. He had better take a girl who has a 
mind to keep house, and not to go on perpetually at 
that rag-making biisiness/’ 

“ Well then, ma’am, that’ll never be me, for I 
won’t do a hand’s turn but it ail my days, I can’t 
make a bit of fire to boil the kettle, or even peel one 
potato to ate my dinner, for fear of spoiling my fingers 
and to keep them nate for the fine work/’ 

Oh, indeed, it is truly an injurious occupation, 
and makes every girl that takes to it perfectly use- 
less/’ 

Now you cant say that, ma’am ; look at all the 
lovely things I makes, as good, any day, as Miss 


MARY DESMOND. 


241 


painting. My roses are as like life as hers, 

and my leaves and shamrocks are as perfect, barring 
the colour ! 

In the midst of this conversation Mr. Black en- 
tered the room. Well, Mary, my girl,’^ said he, 
‘‘ how do you get on ? 

Pretty well, yer honour,’^ she replied, curtsey- 
ing, as she retired. 

On the evening of that day, when the family 
were sitting down to dinner, the curtains drawn, 
and the lamps lit, Mary was opening the hall door 
and looking out, as if anxiously watching for some 
one whose coming was of intense interest to her. 

She looked out steadily into the darkening street. 
The rain was falling thickly, and the night promised 
to be very stormy. Mary had in her hand a flat 
paper parcel, which she carefully kept alike from 
damp and observation. While she was looking in 
one direction a gentleman suddenly came up the steps 
in another, and pushed in the door to enter the house. 
She turned to see who it was, and in a moment was 
saluted with a rude kiss. 

At first, she was disposed to scream, but quickly 
checked herself when she found it was no other than 

R 


249 


MARY DESMOKU, 


Miss Black's intended kusband. The action sur- 
prised her exceedingly, but the doer of it more so 
still. In utter silence she made a dash at him with 
every finger nail set lilce a cat's claw, and tore a 
hideous scratch down his face. Go, give what ac- 
count you like of that in the parlour, she hissed in 
his ear. 

“You she-de\ul ! " he said, and turned away into 
the street to recover his composure, and, if possible, 
his good looks. 

“ There goes as bad a fellow as walks," she solilo- 
quized ■ “ men are_ all alike, and the grander they 
are, the worse they- go on. The mean cur, that 
would be afraid to do the hke to his equal, how dare 
he make so free with me ? I'll teach him manners 
“let him take what he got as a sample “to offer to 
do such a thing ! and me to be insulted in this way, 
that never a man attempted to say a had word to in 
all my Hfe, and that never done a thing that could he 
thro'RTX in my face, or bring a blush on my mother, 
if she was there opposite me, and we going before 
the priest." 

Here she was interrupted by the arrival of the 
person for whom she was waiting. A man, well 


MARY DESMOND. 


243 


cloaked and disguised, went up the steps ; and Mary, 
with a respectful bend, put the precious paper into 
his hand. 

Stay 'there until I return/ ' said the stranger, 
will, your reyerence/' was the submissive 

reply. 

The man then went away down the street, and 
stopped under a gas lamp, opened the parcel, and 
looked long and fixedly at its contents. He returned 
to Mary, and motioned her to step out further, and 
to close the door behind her. 

This precautionary measure being adopted, he drew 
near her and whispered : — This is aU right. 1'U 
keep it,^' 

“Oh, your reverence, donH, for pity's sake. What 
would become of me if it was found out 

“ Hush ! you fool, I'll bear you blameless through 
anythin g that h appens . Do you not know who I am ? '' 
This was said in a very authoritative tone, and seemed 
intended to overawe her ; hut she was a girl of 
some spirit, and she seized the disputed paper. The 
ecclesiastic held fast by the other end, and they pulled 
it pretty hardly between them. The strongest had 
the best of it very soon ; but he had also a whole- 


244 


MARY DESMOND* 


some fear, of arousing a feeling of resistance that he 
might hereafter find troublesome to quell. He 
thought he kneM^ the girl well^ and calculated that 
she was one of those passionate creatures easily 
excited to yiolent proceedings, and who could be 
made a man^s ally, or his foe, in a moment* He also 
fancied that the temperance ball-room practice she 
had had was suflBcient to make her turn off lightly, 
at the sound of a vicious insinuation. In fact, he 
saw that she was a woman, warm and impetnons* 

Ah, Mary ! you rogue, said he, with a most 
nnsaintly smile, “ don't you recoUect the old song, 
^ Yon know I^m your priest, and your conscience is 
mine?'” 

“ I know a great many things you have no business 

* 

to know,” she saucily rejoined: 

And rH take no impudence even from a priest.” 

B ut she was no t a match in strength for this superior 
of hers, and she was obliged to let him waUc off with 
the parcel, on which she set such store* ^ 

He got quickly to his home in the Bawn Friary, 
and laid his prize on the table, round which sat a 


MAHY DESMOND. 


245 


jolly circle of gentlemen, in “orders grey.^^ The 
wrapping was soon undone, and the discoverj’' elicited 
roars of laughter. 

It was Miss Black^s caricature of the Priest, and 
it was laid before one of the originals of her well ex- 
ecuted sketch! The first burst of enjoyment of the 
fun was soon over, and the victim of the artistes skill 
betrayed considerable annoyance. 

“ It is very well for you all to laugh,’’ said he ; 
“ but to me it is no laughing matter. What a 
shameful thing to make light of my sacred character.” 

“ Hear him,” cried a very red-faced old padre from 
the chair. 

“Yes, indeed, I don’t joke. We, none of us, can 
spare anything ofi* our respectability.” 

“ Oh, come, now, speak for yourself,” came from 
the whole company, amidst bursts of laughter. 

“ What I say is a fact.” 

“ Holloa, don’t put your foot in it, admission is as 
good as confession,” exclaimed the assembly. 

“ Well, it’s of no use talking ; I’ll see to the bottom 
of this, and make those that did it smart severely.” 

“ Oh, nonsense,” criecP the president ; “ there’s no 


246 


MARY DBSMOKD- 


harm done ; how could you punish the culprit ? — a 
pretty little girl, and a heretic too ? We can^t reach 
them, unfortunately/'" 

Hero the speaker was greeted with such cheers 
from the whole party that he was unable to continue, 
and being b modest little man, he grew redder than 
eyer, and sipped up his w^ine. The topic of conver- 
sation round the table soon changed; but two heads 
laid themselves together apart from the rest, and 
talked of vengeance* 

Youll never have the heart to do that,” said a 
young, gentlemanly, and highly intellectual-looking 
young man. I don^t like to go into intrigues that 
implicate us with low people. They are so treache- 
rous. In my college we were taught to avoid as 
much as possible connection with the classes beneath 
us. It was reckoned too great a risk.” 

Well, I don^t know why you, young men, should 
not work upon all your materials as well as we. In 
my young days we found the servants our very best 
spies, and many and many a plot they unravelled for 
us; and Protestants are getting worse and worse 
every day, more bitter, and more intolerant, and 
more scheming. All this ridicule of me is to depre- 


MARY TiESMOND. 


247 


ciate my positioa, and make me have less weight in 
public life, on boards, and on committees, and those 
sort of things. Of course, it does not affect my own 
flock ; but it does the general run of people that I 
have to do with. You are not long enough on the 
mission to understand those matters, but you will 
when you come to have to do with poor-law guar- 
dians and other public bodies. These are greatly 
influenced by what is said of a man^s pri’V'ate life, and 
I can tell you that being right well made game of 
creates an imfavonrable impression that nothing can 
efface. There were scandals here about Plagherty, 
and they got wind, and^he was ruined by them. You 
may be sure it is safest always, if you can, to make 
away with parties that arc in power, if they have any 
disrespectful feeling towards yon ; and now that I 
recall ilr, Black^s manner to me at the Relief Com- 
mittee, the other day, I think it was very undervalu- 
ing and insulting, doubt his mind is prejudiced 
against me, and that is a great inconvenience.^^ 

“ Perhaps you are quite wrong, I often meet that 
very young lady at Mrs. Maxwell's at dinner, and she 
is very friendly— — ” 

“ Oh, now, take care young man. Going to Pro- 


248 


MAEY DESMOND. 


testant houses, and dining, and having young ladies 
^ friendly ^ to you won't do. They are celebrated in 
that house for ridiculing priests/’ 

My dear sir, we won't talk any more in this strain. 
I am not at all used to it ; at St. Onier's we should 
be put to^o severe penance for it; but you, Irish 
priests, have a license of which we never heard/^ 

“ I suppose not, indeed ; you have no whisky 
there ; but como and let us arrange my plan of re- 
venge/' 

Revenge, Timotheus cried/' shouted a chorus of 
voices in tolerable harmony, considering the lateness 
of the hour and the depth of their potations, and for 
the present all further discussion was at an end. 

The senior of the two whose conversation we have 
repeated departed, making a strong assertion that he 
would have his satisfaction, and that he would insist 
on the aid which his brother Grregorian was com- 
pelled, by his TOWS, to give him. is in your 

district,'’ he said, “ and you must do the work, or 
take the consequences.” 


CHAPTER IV, 


Miss Black and her intended husband had been 
acquainted from their childhood, and therefore 
the terms on which they lived had all the peculiar 
freedom from restraint that long and intimate asso- 
ciation gives, 

A few days after the occurrence of the scene on the 
door-step, between Mary Desmond and her mistress's 
lover, an account of it was given to Miss Black by 
the gentleman himself. He told the facts very nearly 
as they happened, and he did so under the full per- 
suasion that if he withheld the tale, Mary was, from 
the character she displayed, very unlikely to do so. 
He calculated that Miss Black already knew the 
story when he began his narration, and her surprise, 
at first, seemed to him to be feigned. But this was 
not the case, Mary had kept her own council in the 


250 


MARY DESMOND. 


matter, and had no intention whatever of making it 
a subject for mischief between them. 

She was very little prepared for a strict interroga- 
tion about it from Miss Black, and being sadly afraid 
that the subsequent case, of her interview on the same 
evening with the priest, would also come out on en- 
quiry, she was very disingenuous when questioned 
respecting the affair. 

What night was it. Miss, you^re talking of at 
all ? There was nothing but fun in anything at 
all that happened between us; gentlemen does be 
always going on that way to us poor girls. They 
says many a thing to the likes of me, that they 
would not think of saying to a lady; and we have 
no right to talk about it. I’d be long sorry, miss, to 
tell you half that is said to me, or let you into it at 
all. But I am able for them ; and, as you see, I 
spares nobody when they go farther than I choose.” 

Poor Miss Black felt all this keenly. It was a re- 
velation to her. There was more in the business than 
she could fathom, and it had an evil influence in it for 
her. Mary’s words complicated the affair, and her 
manner still more so. Miss Black shuddered at the 
vicious contact that, for the first time in her life, 


MARY DESMOND- 


251 


SGomed in close proximity to her- She was led into 
a mist of doiiht where all should have been bright^ 
and fair. William Harris, the man whose perception 
of all that was pure and excellent in a woman was 
to Miss Elack infallible, had now affected her with 
ideas that depreciated Mary to her. 

As to himself, she loved him so dearly, that many 
faults would be as powerless as many waters to 
quench the flame her bosom owned- She liked his 
frankness ; his open, manly way of confiding to her 
what he freely confessed was an error bonnd her to 
him more closely than ever- ** It was merely a joke 
on his part, though a very wrong sort of one,” she 
thought, and 111 try and make him feel that even 
the lowest of my sex is to be respected-"" 

Towards Mary, from thenceforward. Miss Black had 
■^a changed feeling- IShe felt repelled, by the hesi- 
tation and Tintruthfulness of her manner, and the 
insinuations conveyed by her words- She no longer 
associated her so closely with herself, and withdrew 
in a very decided manner from the intercoiirse that 
had subsisted between them, 

Mary was quite alive to this alteration- She knew 
that confidence between them was over, and the sen- 


252 


MARY DESMOKD. 


sation had a bitterness in it, that her temperament 
could ill bear, 

Twas that villain did it,” she thought, He 
wants to get rid of me out of this house, ^ Papist 
servants don^t suit him,* he says. No doubt he 
wronged us sometime, or why should he be afraid 
of us ? These half-English-Irish people hate us ; 
the impudence I hear they puts in the papers in 
England is, ^ No Irish need apply and still they 
wants us to make us their slaves ! Put 111 be no 
slave ! Ah, lis theyli be sorry yet, that they pro- 
voked me 

These feelings were fresh in her heart one day, 
awakened by some new proof of the loss of her mis- 
tress’s interest in her, when the drawing- room bell 
rang. It was Mary’s duty to answer it ; and she 
did so with less than her accustomed alacrity — ■ ^ 

“ How long you stayed !” said Miss Black, “ bring 
me that sketch of father James that I made long 
ago, I want to show it to Mr, Harris/^ 

Where is it. Miss ?” asked Mary, with the most 
innocent air imaginable. 

Where it always is, hanging in my study. You 
know it very well and Mary heard Miss Black say 


MARY DEBMONn* 


253 


to Mr, Harrisj as she closed the door^ I think you 
“will say it is the best likeness of him you ever saw,” 
Mary paused on the stairs, her heart beat, and her 
head got giddy. 

Now had come the crisis. All would he out ! 
Al^hat should she do ? Was this a preliminary to the 
announcement, that her theft was discovered ? No, 
Miss Black's manner forbade that ; but what else was 
impending p 

With terror in her heart, and a hard struggle with 
her conscience, Mary nerved herself to the work of 
deceit, A cold perspiration burst out on her brow ; 
her cheek was blanched, her lip became livid, and 
her eye uuuaturally dark, bright, and fierce, as she 
rushed up the stairs. She stood awhile in Miss 
Black’s room, and even cheated herself into the idea 
that she was looking for the picture, 

“ 1*11 go tell her I can’t find it, as soon as I come 
back to my colour — this face would tell on me — and 
let her do her best. But what do I care P The 
priest will make it all ri^t for me. It is as easy 
for him to pardon ten lies as one — so here goes.*^ 
With a rapid step, Mary returned to the drawing- 
room, and hurriedly said, — 


254 


MAUY DESMOND. 


‘‘ I can’t find it, Miss,” — 

And then darted from the room. Again the bell 
was rung, and again the culprit went nervously to 
her duty. 

‘‘ Why can’t you find it ? ” inquired Miss Black. 
‘‘ No one ever disturbs that room but you.” 

Indeed, Miss, I don’t know anything about it. 
I don’t steal pictures ; and as to that one — ” 

No one ever said you did, Mary,” interrupted the 
lady, so don’t run on in that tone.” 

When people are so ready to excuse themselves,” 
Mr. Harris began — 

Don’t you dare talk to me,” said the excited girl 
to him, what right have you to meddle between 
me and my mistress ?” 

I’ll take a right now,” he said, and you may 
prepare to leave on the spot. My future wife shall 
not be exposed to the violence of a woman of your 
temper.” 

This infuriated Mary, and she dashed wildly out 
of the house. 

With her best speed she ran to her old friends, the 
Gormans, and dro^Dped down on their fioor in a deep 


swoon. 


MARY DESMOND. 


255 


When she recovered, her anguish of mind was 
truly terrible ; but to no one would she tell the real 
cause. “ Why did they turn you out ? was the eager 
question from the whole family, whom her abrupt 
arrival took all of a heap,^^ as they said. 

“ They didn’t turn me out at all, I runned away 
from them,” Mary rejoined, when, at length, com- 
posure returned to her. 

^‘What for, for pity’s sake?” asked old Mrs. 
Gorman ; do you want to go like my two bad 
daughters, and bring more shame on them that you 
belongs to ? Couldn’t you keep a good home, when 
you had it, you fool, you ? ” 

** No, I couldn’t, when they called me Papist and 
Irish, and made game of me.” 

Sure that wasn’t calling you out of your name, 
anyhow ; I’m glad it was no worse. You may well 
swallow that, and more, without being choked. Go 
back before you sleep, and make it up with the 
ladies ; and sure can’t you hate ’em aU the same in 
your heart, all the time, alanna ? Do, now, theres a 
good girl, and dont make an omadhaion of your- 
self.” 

With these, and similar counsels and advice, Mary 


256 


MARY DESMOND. 


was assailed; but she was also freely and kindly 
invited to stay, if she was not inclined to follow 
them. 

You’re as welcome as ever to us, my poor girl,” 
said Mrs. Gorman, “ and more betoken because you 
keep yourself proper and respectable, when our own 
went and done wrong upon us. Oh, Mary, ’tis cruel 
for girls to go and break a mother’s heart, as mine 
done. 13 ut I won’t talk of ^em, they’re a’most 
settin’ me mad. There was Julia passed awhile 
agone, walking with a soldier, a smart English cor- 
poral, I’m tould he is, and he has no more notion 
of marrying her than he has of flying, and why 
should he ? 'V^Hio’d have her now ? What dacent, 
honest man, is she fit for? Oh, my hearty curse 
down on that crochet, that brought my girls to ruin. 
Sure, myself thought sarvice was salvation for you ; 
and stick to it, jewel, for God’s sake.” 

‘‘ It wasn’t the crochet done it. ’Twas the money 
that they wom’t used to, that bothered ’em,” 
said Mary ; and only that I had him you knoiCy 
to take every penny piece from me, as fast as it came 
into my hands, I’d have been dressing myself up, 
and going gadding about with the rest. Though I 


MARY DESMOND, 


257 


went to them ballsj and was faU of my ftm, my heart 
was heaYy enough to keep me down to my work, and 
make me mind what I was about. And didn^’t he 
draw every ha^ penny farthing from me^ and leave 
moj many and many a day, that I^d have starved 
only for you F 

« Well, and that’s a rason why I was glad, when 
them ladies took yon, and you were where he could^nt 
get at you.^^ 

But he did get at me, and stHl gets the very heart 
out of my body, and is for ever frightening me within 
an inch of my life.’' 

“Well, acushla, isn't he your father? and hasn't 
he every right to all you can do for him ? And then 
the state he's in — dark, and condemned, and in dread 
of his being took np at any moment." 

Oh, he hasn't a bit of fear of being caught. 
There's no one so safe as a man that was hung. No 
law conld do it over again, you know, and his blind- 
ness would he enough to melt a stone ; hut I wish to 
goodness that he would go to his people out in Mayo. 
Whatever brought him here to Carriginis to bother 
me this way. Sure he needn't have misdoubted me. 
I'd have shared my airnings with him, all the same," 


258 


MAKY DESMOND, 


At this poiat of the conversation the barking of a 
dog disturbed the speal^er* 

Here he is himaclf^ talk of somebody and hem'll 
come ! I wonder did he hear me ? He have some 
crooked turns in him^ and is very jealous of me tell- 
ing them to 8LB.J one ; so don't let on we had any dis- 
course about him, Mrs. Gorman ? ” 

Wisha no, I won^t, you crature,” the old woman 
whisperedj in the same low tone in which Mary had 
spoken her last sentence, and went out to unfasten 
the half door for the new comer. 

“Who's that?” was the query of the visit- 
ant, 

“ Me, of course, looking for my child ; who else 
did you expect ? ” 

“Is Mary here? I was down at her misthriss's 
bouse, and there was a talk among the servants of 
the neighbourhood that she was run away, aud stole 
a picture,'^ 

“ Stole a picture ! yerra, good gracious, what put 
that iix their heads p She's safe aud sound, but the 
never a picture, nor a tack of clothes, did she bring 
out of their house. She came here as empty handed 
as a new-born babe/' 


MARY XIES5S0ND. 


259 


The hlini man had, by this time, reached the seat to 
which Mrs, Grormaii led him. His usual guide, a small 
tan-coloured terrier, had already found out Mary, 
having been let loose by his master, as soon as Mrs, 
Gorman undertook his office, when he qiiickly followed 
his scent into the corner in which Mary had ensconced 
herself, 

“Ah, ah, dip, so you got her,^^ said Desmond; 
“ come out here, Mary, and tell us the news.” 

“ There^s nothing to tell about it,” she sullenly 
muttered ; “ I^m here, and I wonH go back to Miss 
Black, 111 go to my work at the school to-morrow, 
and keep you up the best way I can, and so donl you 
be hunting me about, and putting me to the trouble 
of hiding you, I wonder how I bear with you at all, 
you drain me of ffil I earn ; and now, here I am with- 
out a male’s mate, but what a neighbour gives me 
out of charity,” 

“Mary, agrah, don’t talk of that,” Mrs, Gorman 
put in, “ you have ^ cead mille failthe ’ here, as long 
as you like. You are an honest girl, and better to 
me than my o^vn, so be aisy, and do your best ; no 
more can be got from any one, Barr in’ the odd drop 
of drink your father takes, now and then, he is a 


260 


]MARY DESMOND. 


credit to you ; and all you does for hinij will make a 
fine standing in glory for you. Sure lie is a curiosity 
of grace, brought down off a gallows, and bis 
eyes thin blowed out in a quarry, where he tried to 
get work. I misdoubt there is any other like him in 
Ireland. It's proud you ought to be of him, though 
I know it^s hard to carry on, and him so cruel on 
you in some ways, and making your life a milch 
cow to him ; but sure he can't work himself. Now, 
why don't he live on his beggings ? They must be 
handsome, or it's a quare world ! Wheres the one 
that wouldn't support him in clover, and make him 
their comfort in eternity, if he would only sit quiet 
at some chapel door, and howl and moan all day. 
But here he must be going about, stravaging, and 
strolling ; I never saw so much got by that way, as 
by sticldng to one spot, where people are used to 
pas sin' and gettin' your blessin' ; they are so 
afeard of your givin' 'em the other thing, that ^ 
they'll never dare to forget to bring you your share 
of the pence. What do you think of setting him up 
with a stool at the chapel, Mary? He'd get the 
price of his lodging any day. There was a blind 
man down street, that, for a matter of sixteen years, 


MAllY DESMOND. 


261 


knelt every eTening on his two bended knees, pather- 
ing the Lord’s Prayer at the people that passed by, 
and singing about his ^ seven dissolute orphants that 
lately buried their mother/ until all the world and 
the quality had it by heart, and used to be laughing 
about it, and going to hear him, as if he was a play- 
acthor ; but all the time, my honey, he was filhng 
his hat with coppers. "'Deed, an’ it was he won the 
day, for he died a while ago, and left a power of 
money in his bed, and his sons, that kep the public- 
house near where he used to kneel, put a tomb over 
him, enough to delight his heart. Now, if your 
father would settle down in his old age, to a quiet 
thrade like that, he might make a fortune for 
you.” 

“ Eh, yeh I Mrs. Gromian, my tongue would tire 
in a week, of that eronmm \ many’s a ha’penny I give 
myself to that fellow to stop his trap, when I used 
to be passing hy that way, before I knew what blind- 
ness and beggary was— -glory be to God for the 
same ! But, sure. I’ll go away, ’tw’d be aisy for me, 
aisier aijd betther, no doubt, than being the ruin of 
my child this way. I’ll go, some day, and end the 
time that I ought not to have got in this world, if 


262 


MARY DESMOND. 


the ^ oM bo j ’ had his own. Them that gave me the 
respite, done it out of mercy, to keep me as long as 
they could out of purgatory. They dxdn^t think it 
would come to this pass, when my child would repent 
of it, and wish me in it, ^ She shall have her way, 
and I"U take a dip in the say and finish myself, and 
I often think, maybe that I*d be in the right of it, 
to offer it up as an ^ atonement/ and go straight to 
heaven. Only one life can be due to Grod out of a 
man, and if s two Ikl he giving him ! 

Oh, wisha, father,” Mary cried, don’t be blas- 
pheming that way ! Sure you know Ihn willing to 
work myself black and blue for you ! Oh, don^’t 
frighten my life out ; take my shawl, and get your- 
self a couple of shillings on it, until I can make some 
" bits ’ and ^buttons/ and go down to the school with 
and 1^11 keep you comfortable all your days* 

Oh, for the sake of my motheris sowl, douH be going 
^ , 

on this way, and setting me wild ! ” And she burst 
into a torrent of tears. 

Come here, my darlint, and don^t be breaking 
my heart,” cried the blind man, “ there^s a sup in the 
black bottle in my pocket, that would do you good, 
Mary. There’s an impression on your heart, I’m 


4 


MARY DESMOND. 


263 


thinking, an it wants rising with a dhrop of 
sperrits.’^ 

Ko, you may keep your whisky for me, I never 
took to that yet,” replied the girl, drying her eyes 
and pushing back her massy locks, that were tum- 
bling over her face. 

‘‘Well, Mrs. Gorman, dacent woman, don’t you 
be so squeamish, have a small sup for good nature, 
and against the frost.” 

“ Since you said the ‘ good nature,^ I’ll have to take 
a drain, for fear of bad blood between us,” said the 
old woman, and with no unaccustomed hand, she put 
the bottle to her lips, -and took a part of its contents: 

“ Och,” she ejaculated, returning it to its owner, 
“ that’s more than I let down my throat this many 
a day. I dunna how you gets in such a lot of 
it, as sets your brain wandhering. The mischief’s in 
it, no doubt ; for them that follies on dhrink, never 
stops or stays at anything. Mary, you knew that 
these girls of mine wor as good as angels, until they 
got ’ticed into mornin’ houses for dhrams, cornin’ 
home from temperance balls ! But I must put down 
the kettle for the man’s supper, he’ll be in soon. 
Mary, will you light up the fire, like a darling ! ” 


264 


MARY DESMOND. 


Old Gonnau had gone out to his labouring work, 
shortly before Mary had come in, and it was now ap- 
proaching the time when he might be expected to 
return. The two women busied themselyes with do- 
mestic occupation ; the blind man lit his pipe and took 
a seat on a stool near the fire, while his dog, haying 
hunted up an old bone, lay across the do or- sill 
gnawing it. Soon after six o'clock, the master of 
the house returned, and the party gathered round 
the hearth to partake of the evening meal. It con- 
sisted of tea and dry bread. Sugar, but no milk, 
was added to the infusion, which was made in a 
brown tea-pot without a spout, and mncb marked 
by its frequent seats on the fire. The company drank 
out of tin cans or ponneys,^" vessels substituted 
for earthenware, by the very poor in some parts of 
Ireland, 

Desmond seasoned his tea with some of his favourite 
condiment, and urged his host, very generously, to 
accept some of the same. 

It makes very good stuff of it,^^ said Gorman ; 
bnt I^m not used to so much, so go on with it your- 
self, and don't mind me, I'd like it of a Saturday 


MARY DESMOND. 


265 


Dightj wlien I could rest on Sunday morningj and 
wear out the headache ; but the worst of me isj that 
I takes it of a Sunday night mostly, and then loses 
the Monday morning^s TYork, and often goes a week 
on a reel ; so don^'t set me going now, IVe a job 
that I swore to finish, and it will be worse for me, if 
I don^t, for it is for the priest, and hell make me feel 
his hand if I donl get it done for him/^ 

Oh then, Mr, Gorman/^ said Mary, go to bed, 
and don^t be over-persuaded by my father. An^ 
father, go your way, and lave us ; do take to the 
road, before the sperrits takes hold on you/^ 

But the old beggar-man was in a jolly humour, and 
he would not be dislodged. Mary knew by experi- 
ence how it would be, and slipped out of the bouse* 
She went down the road, and into a huckster's shop, 
and bought a pound of candles, and returned and 
quietly passed by the boon companions, who were now 
sharing the bottle gloriously* She went into a little 
back room, where she had formerly spent many a night 
with her friends and fellow-workers, the children of 
the old couple who now gave her a refuge; and, 
with a weary heart, and slow fingers, recommenced 


266 


MAKY DESMOND, 


her old trade of “ bit-making/^ Mrs* GrormarL joined 
her, and drawing the bed-quilt round her, made her- 
self up to keep company with Mary, 

" I wonder what " bits * I'll make at all/’ said the 
latter, anxiously, ’Tis so long sipce I knew what 
they were doing at the schooL There’s ' crowns/ 
that no one but myself could, make, and 1 11 try them 
with a dozen of ’em in the morning. They used to 
be two shilHns, so they must be worth something at 
all events* Can you be making the ^buttons/ the 
way you used, for the girls, Mrs* Gorman ? ” 

Wisha, no, Mary, not this night. My heart is 
too heavy. Do you hear that old fool of a man 
of miiie outside, singing and carousing ? Sure it's 
210 harm for your father that’s given up to it, and 
has God’s blessing on his sightless state, to do any- 
thing he can to enjoy himself; but there’s Gorman 
at it, that has work promised, and will never be 
able to do it to-morrow. Oh, wirristhrii, will he go 
out, when they drain that bottle, and stay at it till 
mornin’ light, in them mnrdtherin’ public houses ?” 
** Can’t we fasten them in any way ? ” said Mary, 
“ and coax them to sleep it off/’ 

There’s no managing ’em, when they comes to 


MAEY DESMOND* 


267 


this/* replied the more experienced woman ; and 
presently the men were staggering about^ and help- 
ing each other to go and do as Mrs* Gorman's fears 
suggested. In Tain the women protested, prayed, 
cried, and even usjed all their strength, in forcibly 
trying to impede their going out* Blind as Des- 
mond was, he found the way to elude them, and 
drunkenness gave Gorman all the power to resist 
his wife, that, in sober moments, he would never 
have used. He even struck her, when she stood 
before him ; he dashed out into the road, shouting 
and exulting in his freedom from women's control/' 

It was a distressing, a horrible sight ! The blind 
man leading a blinder one into the most awful 
snare that one human being can set before another. 
Though Mary and Mrs* Gorman were, in a degree, 
used to these scenes, they did not the less lament 
and mourn over them* 

With indomitable energy, Mary returned to her 
work, and closely wrought at it all through the night* 
No entreaties would cause her to desist* Mrs. Gor- 
man used every endearing epithet, and fond, and 
motherly argument, to induce her to take a sleep, 
and go to work fresh in the morning ; but without 


268 


MAKY DESMOKD. 


eflfect. The machine was set going, wound up, and 
should proceed. 

Marj’^s industry had this peculiar spasmodic action 
in its nature, and this was a manifestation of it. 

Ifo, Mrs. Gorman, no, it’s of no use your talking 
to me ; and you, without a sup o’ milk in your tay ; 
and I added to your bother ; and your providher on 
a drinking match ! I will not give in.^^ 

Nor did she. When the lace school opened next 
morning, Mary was at its door, and presented her 
crowns, for which she was gratified to find that 
there was an active demand. 

I thought you were gone to service, Mary,’^ said 
the superintendent. 

‘‘ So I was, ma’am, but I left it again ; it does not 
fit me like.” 

Then let me tell you, you are very wrong, but to 
try to fit it. This trade will not last, and domestic 
service will, and you are now come to an age when 
good hard work would serve you and keep you from 
mischief ; but I suppose you don’t like service, and 
would rather be fiddling with the needle and thread.” 

Indeed, that’s just it, ma’am, I can’t be rubbing, 
and scrubbing, and polishing — ah, what good is it all ? 


MARY DESMOND. 


269 


And as to cooking, I hate it ; it disgusts me to be 
after food, as ladies wants us to be/^ 

With such feebngs, you^ll never be either a cook 
or a housemaid, Mary ; but, I thought it was more as 
a personal attendant, Miss Black had you/^ 

“ And so it was, mum, but I got tired of it ; and now 
while the crochet is going at all, I won^t stop from it 
again. When it fails, why, well and good, bnt it 
may last my time— who knows And Mary's light- 

hearted laugh was heard once more by her fellow- 
workers. 


CHAPTEE Y. 

A few days after Mary returned to the lace-schooh 
her late employ ePj Miss Black, called and enquired for 
her. The interview was long and exciting. Miss 
Black^s face betrayed extreme emotion when she 
was departing^ and Mary had an air of very unbe- 
coming triumph and spiteful glee, 

- ' I have them all in a fine state/ ^ she said; “there's 
mischief about an old picture that wasn^t worth a rush, 
and they want to make out that a deep laid plot was 
in it, I don't care what they do, they may make 
ducks and di^akes of it for me ; and that fellow that 
told lies of me about the kiss, I hope he likes the 
mess that came of his story telling ! '' 

Mary was sharply reproved by the superintendent 
for making so free with her late employer's name, 
and for gossipping about the affairs of a family in 
which she had been so kindly treated. 


MARY DESMOND. 


271 


The matter was^ howeTer, soon forgottoiij and Mary 
and lier eccentric doings sank into tke ordinary rou- 
tine of work and workers in the busy schooL 

Meantime she continued to live with the Grormans, 
and to contribate out of her earnings to their little 
means; but, as usual, the bulk of her week^s pay went 
to the blind beggar-man. He punctually met her at 
the door of the school every Saturday, and got the 
most he could from her by coaxing, threats, and ca- 
jolery. 

They often walked away together, but it was always 
her object to avoid taking bim to the poor old Gror- 
mans^ house, where he was sure to introduce drink, 
and consequent sorrow. 

Why thin, Mary,^^ said he, one day, to her, it 
is a meracle you don^t get married* The priest 
himself said so to me,“and all as one, as if ^twas 
my fault, haye nothing to do with it, yer ^ 
rcYercnce,^ says I ; ^ she is my daughter,*but she don't 
giye in to me, nor be said by me. Strangers has 
more of her love, and of her money, and sure it's no 
wonder, I’m only a poor, blind, old fool, fit to sit at the 
roadside and beg/ * Don’t attempt,' says he, Ho let your 
child be undutifuh God will not hold you guiltless,' 


272 


MARY DESMOND. 


says he : ^you’ll be punished if any harm happens 
her. If she gets into the Gormans’ company again/ 
says he, ‘ good bye to her.’ ” 

“ Don’t you trouble your head,” replied Mary. 
‘‘ Tell the priest, or any one else that talks to you 
about me, to mind their own business, and I’ll mind 
mine. And now, good night : it is going to rain, and 
I must hurry home.” 

They parted, and Mary took a direction very wide 
of that which led to the house which she designated 
by the name of home.” As she passed along the 
well-lighted streets, she met many girls that she knew, 
who were walking about for amusement, and not a 
few of them were intent on no very good pursuits. 
None of them could attract Mary to join their parties, 
although many sought to do so, and all had a pleasant 
word for her. 

She went on rapidly towards a building which, 
though some years had elapsed since its erection, 
was called the ‘‘New Chapel.” It was a Eoman 
Catholic place of worship, and though called a 
“ Church” by the educated members of that commu- 
nity, it retains the old name of “ Chapel ” with the 
poor, who still adhere to the fashion of saying “going 


MARY DESMOND* 


273 


to mass/- while the others use the same expres- 
sions as ProtestantSj when alluding to their religious 
obserrances* When she arrived at this New Chapel, 
she walked up and down under the colonnade in front 
of it for some time, and was evidently waiting for 
some one* 

She had been there for nearly an honr when a 
priest ascended the steps and, mthout taking any 
notice of her, entered the chapeL She followed 
him, and was close at his heels when he got inside 
the door, Mary reverently performed the obeisance 
usually made by Pomanists on passing the front of 
the altar, and rapidly pursued his reverence to the 
sacristy door* He opened it, and they passed in 
together, without exchanging a word* The priest 
was a man of the Italian type, and his ascetic appear- 
ance and deeply spiritual expression of countenance 
had raised him almost to the fame of a saint* Mary 
stood awed before him* Here was humanity purified 
from all dross, elevated to something heavenly, and 
far above any mean, earthly suggestions that might 
have impeded her, in devoting herseK entirely to 
obedience to his orders* With a foreign accent, and 
^ solemn voice, he adjured her to enter on no service 


T 


274 


MARY DESMOND. 


which her conscience did not fully approve : ‘‘for 
there are women/’ said he, “in this unhappy 
country who do not believe that the Church is the 
mother who has the first claim, and that the soul is 
more precious than the body.” 

“ Oh, but they’re Ilaythens or Protestants, yer 
reverence,” said Mary, “but I am, and ever, and 
always was, a raal, true Catholic.” 

xV smile came over the priest’s face, but he did 
not look much gratified at her declaration. “ You 
are very ignorant,” said he, “ scarcely fit to be trusted 
in such a serious business ; but I am told that you 
want to do a good work and earn "a heavenly reward, 
and this is one for which the Mother of Mercy and 
the Son of God will be your debtors.” 

Mary dropped on her knees, and clasping her 
hands assumed an attitude of deep self-abasing wor- 
ship. Tlie priest looked on in approving silence. 
She prayed, repeating with earnestness and intense 
devotion the words of one of the most sacred litanies 
of the Catholic church, and the ecclesiastic uttered a 
solemn benediction, to which the fervent and sonorous 
Latin tongue gave all the effect of a spell to the 
hearer. She remained on her knees in rapt, adoring 


MARY DESMOND. 


2?5 


Teneration, wHle Fatlier Petruccio folded up some 
documents into a package and sealed them. 

When this was done, he approached Mary. ^^Now, 
daughter/" he saidj go, and God be with you/" 

Mary put the parcel into her bosom and tightened 
the folds of the shawl she usually wore across it. 
The priest opened a door leading into a lane, at the 
hack of the chapel, and so gaye her exit. 

Tho part of the town to which Mary directed her 
steps was one notoriously the haunt of had characters. 
She had a natural reluctance to passing through it, 
and a refined, timid shrinking from witnessing the 
scenes that she knew mnst be common there. But 
her mission now gave her courage and strength ; it 
was as she thought one of true charity. Her effort 
was to seek and to save the fallen daughters of Mrs, 
Gorman, and it led her to encounter contact with vice, 
from which she would haye fled with as much deh- 
cacy and horror as the most pure-minded lady. 
Drunkenness and profanity marked the locality. 
Outside a public house some sailors were standing, and 
to one of them Ellen Gorman was replying with an 
evident appreciation of his joke when Mary stepped 
up to her. 


276 


MAIIY DESMOND. 


EUen/^ said she, I am sorry to bring you bad 
news.^^ 

“ I might guess you had something of the sort to 
bring me,’^ said the other, or you would not take 
the trouble to go out of your road with it” 

‘‘ Your brother Paddy is very bad,'^ said Mary, 
'without noticing this rude remark. He fell off a 
scaffold and was nearly killed. He’s lying in the 
Sisters’ Hospital, and has had the priest, and your 
mother is breaking her heart about him.” 

Ellen, with all the impetuosity of her nature, alive 
to fun one minute, and plunged in sorrow the next, 
gave a keen cry — 

Oh, my darlint,” she cried, a boy that I was 
so fond of, and is there no chance of hinl at all 
‘‘None in the world,” said Mary ; “if you want to 
see him alive, you had better go now, and the nuns 
will lave you in ; they don’t expect that he^U live 
till momin^.’^ 

“ m call Norry,^^ said Ellen. “ Sure it would 
break her heart to have him go without a word to 
her,^’ and putting her head in at the open door of a 
house close at hand, she called “ Norry,” in a loud, 
wild, excited manner, two or three times. 


MARY DESMOND. 


277 


In a second or so this indiYidual came out, and, 
hearing the tale, joined her sister in the most ob- 
streperous lamentations. 

f( The^best thing for you both to do/^ said Mary, 
is to go to the Hospital^ and make peace with your 
poor brother^ or a day will come when you will be 
sorry for it.^^ 

The words had their effect, and Mary saw the 
sisters take their way over the bridge, directly 
towards an old house, which some sisters’* occupied 
as a hospital for the sick poor. She followed them 
at a little distance, saw that they rang the hell, and 
were admitted ; she herself passed round the comer 
of the bidlding and applied for entrance at another 
of its doors, over which was marked ■ * private. ” 

The door was opened, and on Mary's showing the 
address on the package given her by the priest, she 
was speedily ushered into a parlour, and desired to 
remain there while the porteress went in, to inform the 
reverend mother that a messenger from Father 
Petmcclo wanted to see her. Mary was some 
minutes waiting before the reverend mother made 
her appearance, and when she did so, Marji^s sense 
of religious awe was even more deeply acted on 


278 


MAKY DESMO:s"D» 


than in the ease of the pious father. She made a 
deep curtsejj and folding her hands on her breast^ 
waited for the address of the lady. 

The head of the Benedictine nuns in that convent 
was a lady of high birth and large fortune. She 

t 

had founded that establishment of sisters, aud had 
added the hospital accommodation to it. Her stature 
was commanding, and her air majestic. The graceful 
queen-like motion with which she entered the room, 
the benignity and beauty of her face, the sweetness 
of her smile, and the musical tone of her voice, all 
combined to affect Mary^s exquisitely sensitive tem- 
perament. She could have worshipped her, 

“ I wonder is the Queen of Heaven like that ? 
thought she. 

You arc aware/* said the reverend mother, 
the nature of the cdmmimication you have brought 
me. Your part of the transaction is done, I have 
got the girls. TeH their mother that I will use 
every effort to bring them into the fold of the virgin, 
and restore them to a holy life,** 

May saints and angels crown you,** said Mary* 
Daughter,** said the nun, onr honours are from 
the King of kings,** 


MARY DESMOND, 


279 


She was about to open the door and send Mary 
awajj but human sentiment of a kind scarcely per- 
mitted in such a presence induced the girl to put a 
question as to what would be done with the culprits 
that she had betrayed into the bands of the highest 
tribunaL 

The nuoj with her solemn manner^ waved the 
point, and, with dramatic emphasis, told her that 
their interview was over. 

Yon have confided them to Grod,” said she, and 
he renders no account of his worldngs,” 

Mary was compelled to he satisfied with this reply 
and to obey the motion to depart* In a minute 
more she foimd herself standing under the starlit 
sky, no human device between her soul and its 
Maker* 

wonder how I shall face Him with that lie 
on my soul,^^ she involuntarily exclaimed ; and walk- 
ing with even more than her accustomed energy, 
she was soon at Mrs. Gorman^'s side, to whom she 
delivered the message of the reverend mother, while 
she loudly and bitterly eomplained of the part she 
had been induced to take in the affair, and strongly 
suggested that neither priest nor nun could save her 


280 


MAEY DESMOKD* 


from the sting of conscience, and were as little likely 
to ensure her the forgiveness of Heaven. 

Ah, you dimna what’s laid on me at all, at all/’ 
repHed the old woman, I have that to do what will 
set me day and night, and keep me In torture aiqnal 
to a scald every minute— to bear it, and he silent ! 
Oh, they don’t know a mother’s, heart — how should 
they? — nor a father’s, if they think that Grorman will 
rest satisfied. It is he’ll lade me the life, when he 
knows that I cemented myself with such a plot/’ 
Don’t tell him my share in it, for pity’s sake,” 
cried Mary, “ Sure I know he mishalieves in priests 
and nuns altogether, and says they are no better than 
the rest of the world ; he told me the other day that 
the picture was the truth, and that Father James 
drinks like a fish,” 

^^Ohj lave me alone about them all ! Wliat came 
over me at all to be said by these foreign men, that 
look like ghosts, and that have no more idea of our 
flesh and blood than if we were ghosts ; hut that 
lecture to women took the heart out of me clear and 
clane, and I was only afraid not to do it, Now it is 
done, my mind is distracted, I see no rights in it,” 
If we done wrong, Mrs, Gonnan, it is those that 


MARY DESMOXiy. 


281 


made m do it is to blame. Now since tbe sin is taken 
olF m% Fm as innocent as a new-born babe^ and as 
to yoHj you bad no hand in it, good nor bad/^ 

my dear, no hand^ siire enough, it is my 
heart is in it, and it is torn to pieces : tell me any- 
thing you like now, but don’t ask me to be aisy or 
comfortable for the rest of my days/’ 

'^Indeed, I ’ll spend my life to give you relief, 
for the hand I had in your trouble/ ' Poor 
child/ says the Italian father to me, ^why did 
you tell a lie ? Who taught you to venture on 
it, even for a good cause? But, since yon done 
it,’ says he, ' I must take it otf you. I thought you 
were ingenious, and could inyent ways, 3^ou clever 
Irish girls ; but you are, I see, able only to sin away', 
and confess it after/ 

^ Just so, y er reverence, ’ I answered, ^ we have 
only one waj here with ns, and we would be glad to 
get the other, and it is for that we comes to ye, holy 
fathers, straight from His Holiness, where every way 
must be known/ I disremember what he said, but 
he looked astonished-hke, and began mumbling them 
thin lips of his, and lifting up his beseeching eyes 
to heaven. I declare, it is enough to make one long 


282 


MAEY DESMOND. 


to go to Iieavenj if ail tlie men that get there are 
like liim/^ 

About this time, a new mission of “ Fathers had 
begun to work among the Homanist female popula- 
tion. Their special object was, the purification 
and preservation of women^s morals; and one of 
their institutions was, the “Confraternity.^^ Under 
this head, they united women into “ societies and 
“ orders ; and these were assembled on Sundays, 
and certain holy days, for instruction. The teach- 
ing was of a religious, and highly spiritual nature ; 
and had an exceUent design apparent in its system. 

The men who undertook this work, were of the 
strictly ascetic caste, which intensity of devotional 
fervour and scant loiowledge of Scripture produces — 
modern St. Anthonies, in fact, who would have every 
woman be a cloistered nun, and every nun an angeh 
These views, sincerely and zealously followed, were 
exceedingly effective. The veneration which the 
ordinary priests had long been losing, was restored 
to the church by the reaction and return of esteem 
for purity, that was encouraged by these missiona- 
ries, whose own sanctity was undoubted. 

The lace-makers, amongst whom they principally 


MARY DESMOND. 


283 


labouredj were not peimanently affected, by this 
movement, though they flocked in crowds to the 
special services, which, in object and nature, strongly 
resembled those called revivals ” in the Protestant 
Church. The sad depravity, that had been be- 
trayed by the masses employed in this industry, had 
profoundly touched the hearts of many truly con- 
scientious Roman Catholic clergymen, and they threw 
themselves into the work of regeneration, with an 
ardour which did them credit as men devoted to 
then ministry. They preached temperance, right- 
eousness, and judgment to como,*^ according to their 
interpretation of ApostoKc doctrine, and did it 
heartily. It is hut fair to say of them, that they 
laboured earnestly for good. 

With their purpose and design, no one could find 
fault ; as to their mode of carrying it out, however, a 
wide difference of opinion must ever exist. They 
held that all was fair in the love of right, and warfare 
against wrong, which they maintained ; and they 
practically avowed the dogma, '^that the end justifies 
the means/ ^ 

Hence, Mary Desmond’s unhesitating and unques- 
tioning docility, and entire submission in the hands 


284 


MAHY DESMONT>. 


of her spiritual director. An ascendency to this 
extent was Tcry easily obtained oyer the peoploj 
with whom the system to which we refer was adopted, 
and this obedience was so completely and essentially 
an external operation, that it was easily grafted on 
any internal deflections from good, and was sup- 
posed cover a multitude^' of them, most con- 
veniently. The control of the church was 
perfectly established in outward things ; but, alas ! 
it was only the rule of the '^Church/' after all. 
The Spirit did not descend by it and through it, nor 
did it convert its subjects apparently into living mem- 
bers of the true Christian bod}" ; for the most active 
and unreserved embracers of this form of religious 
government were not, thereby, reformed in heart and 
morals. Little, or no improvement, was shown in the 
social condition of the community in which it reigned 
in its best strength and vigour. 


CHAPTER YI, 


The abduction of girls like tbe Gormans with the 
consent of their parents was not a very uncommon 
occur Fence j at leastj with the consent of one of them* 
The mother was usually a party to the arrangement^ 
moved by her deep religious feeling, which induced her 
to do violence to the tenderest part of her nature, while 
the father was, perhaps, barely tolerant, or at best 
did not resist the proceeding. Gorman was about an 
average sample of the way in which men bore with 
this interference of the church with the personal 
liberty of their children* He complained of it, and 
somewhat bitterly too, hut it was in a subdued tone ; 
^^he smothered his grumbling,^* as the neighbours said. 
His wife and he had many an unpleasant scene, in 
which her religion was made the subject of taunts and 
sneers by him, and his spiritual state was reprobated, 
prayed for, and bemoaned by her, until his patience 


286 


MARY DESMOND. 


was exhausted, and he was driven much farther than 
he meant in expressing disbelief in the church of his 
fathers. In the class to which they belonged, public 
opinion was divided between recognition of the rights 
of the father, and approbation of the duty fulfilled 
by the mother. There was much sympathy with 
Gorman. 

‘^Poor man, to have his daughters dhragged 
away without by yer lave, and no respect whatever 
paid him, as if he wom’t there at all,’’ said some ; 
and the same hearts regarded Mrs. Gorman as a 
martyr to her faith, esteeming her almost a rival 
to Abraham in her self-sacrificing obedience, and 
while she drooped day by day, under the throuble” 
that was on her soul, people begged her prayers, 
coveted her blessing, and craved for her to put in a 
good word for them to the Holy Mother, with whom 
they believed she had ingratiated herself by her 
act of piety. 

She was to be seen every morning of her life 
wending her way to the 'New Chapel, where the 
Redemptorist Fathers left the insignia of their office, 
in the shape of a collection of instruments to repre- 
sent those with which our Lord was tortured. Out- 


MARY DESMOND. 


287 


side the chapel door stood the spear^ the crown of 
thorns, and the scourge ; and before these, frequently 
knelt the votaries, whose feelings had been kindled 
by the orations of the Fathers on the Passion/^ 
and to whom these emblems served as mementoes 
of their exciting addresses. Mrs. Grorman gave her- 
self up to the contemplation of them, and was on 
her knees many hours, daily, in all weathers, in 
her long blue cloak, the hood of which barely 
permitted her face to be seen ; she almost lived in 
this garment, like a cowled hermit, and gave herself 
up to what is texaned making her soul,” until she 
almost ignored the presence of her body, and became 
attenuated and shadowy. She might have been 
supposed to be immaterial, but for the hollow 
sound that followed her practice of the Irish Catholic 
custom of beatiixg on her breast. This pictoiial 
action is supposed to represent that which the publi- 
can performed in that prayer, which has since provided 
all Christian penitents with a form of sound words ; 
but the outward sign that accompanied it seems to 
be nowhere retained except in the Emerald Isle. 
None but those who have witnessed the ceremonial 
of the mass, as performed in Ireland, can have any 


288 


MARY RESMOND, 


idea of the effect of the obligato accompanimeiit 
which this breast-smiting and sotto-YOCe groaning 
gives ; but the impressiveness of the scene is lost in 
the consciousness of the ephemeral nature of the 
feelings that announce themselyes with so much 
noise and demonstration. 

There are few things connected with the Irish 
character less easily accounted for, than their submis- 
sion to religious tyranny and their desire of political 
freedom, as evidenced by the conduct of such men 
as Gorman, It would have been utterly useless to 
explain to him that there was any contradiction be- 
tween the feelings referred to, much less to have 
made him believe that they could not co-exist. He 
did not like the interference with his daughter's 
liberty ; hut it was in the interests of religion/* 
and he made no stir about it, flis little world 
understood bis case, and it did not excite itself 
to publish as a grievance that which was part of a 
yoke borne for a religious motive, as it would have 
done any movement on the part of a landlord, or of 
the law. It is very well understood among those 
people, that the church does not take such a step as 
that of incarcerating young women without some 


MARY UESMOKD* 


289 


good reason, and it is taken for granted that the 
act is justifiable, or it would not have been 
done* The result of the process is seldom made 
known, so that whether or not it effects the object 
it proposes, is not ascertainable, Tbis compulsory 
cloisterage is said to be, on the whole, generally satis- 
factory ; that is to say, the subjects of it very rarely 
resist it after the first outburst of rebellion. Con- 
summate tact is brought to the management of the 
cases, and nothing is left undone to induce the desired 
condition of penitence. The removal of two such terri- 
ble ringleaders of mischief as the girls Gorman, was a 
blessing to the district, and if they could by any means 
be reconciled to living in the asylum provided for 
them, it was an inestimable advantage to them, even as 
far as temporal things were concerned — their spiritual 
benefit, its direct object, is another thing. The con- 
vent in which Mary Desmond left them, being de- 
voted to the care of the sick, it was not their ultimate 
destination. They were, no doubt, speedily conveyed 
to the care of nuns, devoted to the charge of Magda- 
lens ; and these ladies, being trained to the service, 
pursue a systematic course of treatment which it is 
impossible to think can always fad in gaining, at 


ij 


290 


MARY DESMOND. 


least, outward conformity, and some amount of moral 
improvement in their inmates. The Romish Church 
does not contemplate the return of these women to 
society, and therefore a home for life is offered to 
them. This is not always accepted, but it is much 
more usual to do so than may be supposed; hence the 
institutions in which they are sheltered are mostly 
crowded. Many leave, after various periods o^ resi- 
dence : some who have been very contumacious and 
troublesome, whom nothing but returning to their 
evil doings will content, do so with violence, and 
often become worse than before ; they endeavour to 
bring disgrace upon all connected with them, and 
occasionally involve in blame even those whose un- 
dertaking was well meant, however injudicious its 
prosecution may have been. 

Few, indeed, of this unhappy class of women, either 
Protestant or Romanist, become really reformed, and 
the majority of those that come out of the convents, 
like those who leave our refuges, do not remain in the 
path of rectitude. There is strong presumptive evi- 
dence that life asylums are the strongholds of hope 
for such transgressors, and, in so much, we must agree 
that the principle of the Roman Catholic plan is good. 


MARY DESMOND. 


291 


These establishments are generally conducted on the 
most approved system, are well digested, and applied 
with great judgment to the case in hand, under all 
its aspects. Their interiors are inviting to the weary 
and sin-sick, and nothing connected with them is 
suffered to be revolting or oppressive. They are 
very extensive, mostly laundries, and arranged on the 
mos^ scientific principles. 

It is carefully sought to reduce hand labour, and 
machinery of the best and newest kind is employed in 
them. Thus, irksome and slavish toil is not a part of 
their discipline ; regularity, accuracy, and obedience 
are enforced, and all is done under a mild rule, as silent 
and yet as influential as any authority can be. The 
supervision of nuns — educated women, often ladies 
of peculiar culture, and great talents — is close and 
particular. Every two or three Magdalens have a 
care-taker, who watches all their acts and words; 
working, eating, and sleeping, she is at their side, 
and her judicious guidance and direction are the 
secret of the whole system. The success attained 
in the matter of mere' industry is great. The 
washing done in these places is excellent, and 
they bring the art of getting up linen to per- 


292 


MARY DESMOND. 


fection, so that women who pass any length of 
time in them, bring away a knowledge and skill hy 
which, while they have hodily strength, they may 
gain a livelihood. Such laundries charge more highly 
than any others, and yet they have the command of 
the business, and maintain their position above com- 
petition* The treatment in these houses is kind and 
winning, the nuns are zealous and enticing in .their 
manner; no effort that can be devised’ is spared, every 
sense is acted on, and a deeper sincerity of purpose, 
and greater care in carrying it put, can scarcely be 
imagined* 

It would he unfair to withhold this testimony to the 
work of nuns in this particular field of labour* They 
wield a weighty influence, and they certainly exercise 
themselves in using it for good ; but this influence, 
of course, depends entirely on faith in certain reli- 
gious practices which, to us, neither procure nor assure 
individual salvation* The whole scheme is, therefore, 
a fabric in whose stability confidence is forbidden, 
seeing that it builds on the untenable ground of 
human effort, and lays its firmest anchor in the shifting 
feelings of the sinner^ s heart* 

We cannot trace the career of the Gormans, nor 


MAEY DESAfOND. 


293 


is it needful that we should do so- About the time of 
which we write^ many girls were induced, on various 
pleaSj to enter Magdalen Asylums, We, ourselves, 
have joined in the effort to* persuade such, and have 
felt a deep anxiety for its success. It was a good 
plan for getting them bodily out of harm^s way* 
We have been permitted to visit the asylums, and 
have been profoundly impressed with the power 
of the system under which they are worked, and 
anxious to import into our Protestant charities of 
a similar nature, the roles and regulations which 
act so eflELciently in them* An impression to the 
contrary of this is not uncommon ; some people 
imagining that the inmates of such institutions 
are under a regime of terror, and a course of perse- 
cution, Nothing can be further from the fact. It 
would not be compatible with the sagacity of the 
hierarchy of the church of Pome that it should be so, 
and it is well to clear away the idea that anything 
revolting is connected with the condition into which 
it labours to bring its votaries* In fact, herein lies 
the insidious nature of its dealings, and the craft and 
subtilty of its proselytism. 

The subject of young women^s abduction by Homan 


294 


MAHY DESMOND, 


Catholic agencies, occupies the puhhc mind a good 
deal, and there is eyideiitlyinuch ignorance as to the 
true light in which this act is to he regarded. The 
captives arc almost always, no matter how their friends 
may disguise it, willing or semi- willing. They must 
have' somehow, indirectly or otherwise, consented to 
the movement : or it may happen that relatives 
sufficiently interested in their spiritual condition, 
do it on their own responsibility, and conceal their 
compKcity, for obvious reasons. At all events, the 
chances are well calculated as to the success of the 
attempt in relation to the subject of it, and to its 
effect on her immediate connections. The Church 
of Rome does not run foolish risks : it^ has as 
great an amount of intelligence as any that can be 
opposed to it, and probably greater cunning, a quality 
which it avails itself of less scrupulously than those 
whose faith denies the right of exezxising authority 
over the conscience or free-will of any of its members. 
Wherever Popery is, it will carry its machinery, 
and one part of it is this forcible arresthig of the 
career of vice, and the withdrawal of personal liberty, 
whenever the interests of the individual, or of the 
church, can he thereby subserved. No tribunal that 


MARY DESMOND, 


295 

we can ereetj can adjudicate in the matter, because 
no commou standard of appeal exists, to which we 
can apply for decision as to its propriety. The act 
is the dictate of a power that we do not recognize, 
and, more than that, which we do not understand, and 
what it does is outside of the principles that direct 
our conduct ; and there must its works remain— an 
offence to onr sense of freedom, and indiTidnal respon- 
sibility, a sin against our scriptural rule, a crime at 
common law ; and yet it is extremely difficult to pro- 
cui’e a conviction under any of these headings, the 
management of the affair is so stQfully conducted, 
and the explanation so clear and satisfactory with 
which our direct protestations are invariably met. 

Since this is the state of the case, and since we 
really cannot put an end, practically, to the re- 
currence of such proceedings, it is some consolation to 
know that it is not productive of the personal miseiy 
popularly ascribed to it. Discomfort and unhappiness 
are not the usual effects of being carried off, and it 
is susceptible of proof, that when after much excite- 
ment and trouble, persons have been recovered, they 
have been found to prefer the asylum, and to desire 
to return to its shelter. It would not have surprised 


296 ‘ 


MAHY DESMOJTO. 


US to have learned tliat eyen tke Grormans were 
voluntary recluses for the whole of their natural 
HveSj nor to have been told that they had become 
exemplary inmates of the Magdalens that adopted 
them ; and should they rise to the dignity of lay- 
sisters in any of the orders of nuns to which they are 
eligible, it is not impossible that they may present 
the purest type of female monachism that is to be 
foxind in the various communities. 


CHAPTER VII. 


Soon after the abduction of the Gormans, one even- 
ing, as Mary was going across the town, and just as 
she was emerging from the shadow of the old cathe- 
dral of Carriginis, and passing on towards her home, 
she was joined by a young man, of rather a gentle- 
manly exterior, who accosted her, with the famili- 
arity of old acquaintanceship. 

‘‘ I’ll see you past the lonely part of the road, 
Mary/’ said he, ‘^will you let me walk that far 
with you 

No, nor an inch,” said she, I don’t want you. 
Master Tom. Go home, and behave yourself. It’s 
a shame for you to be talking trash to me this way, 
of an evening, getting us both a had name. It may 
be no harm to you, but it is to me.” 

Ah, Mary, I wish you ’d listen to me for a 
minute. I’m not so wicked as you suspect. I 


298 


MMIY DESMOXD. 


Tvould not bring barm to a hair of your head- Be 
my own little girl— honestly^ truly, I swear, I mean 
you a fair offer* Be my wife ; there you have it 
now, and I'll do it* Yes, in spite of any father, or 
church, or priest* You don't belieye me ? It can 
neyer be ? "\Yhy not ? If ever man was in earnest, 
I am. Don't you see, I would not wrong you, or 
mislead 3^ou, Haye I not been as respectful as if 
3"ou were my sister P All these years that I^ve been 
looking at joUj did I dare to speak to you, until the 
night that I rescued ^i^oii from the blind man that 
was so drunk ? ” 

Mary's face was crimson with intense anno 3 ^ance 
at this reminiscence* She well remembered the cir- 
cumstance. It was an occasion on which she met 
her father coming out of a tap-room, and had expos- 
tulated with him on his conduct ; he had raised his 
stick to beat her, and had clutched her fast, and 
would have inflicted severe bodily injur}^ on her, but 
for the timely interposition of the speaker* 

It must be confessed that the silent admiration 
arid unobtrusive demeanour of this person, had very 
much affected Mar3^ For some, time, Sullivan had 
been smitten with her personal beauty; and when 


I^IARY DESMOND. 


299 


his manners called forth her character and made 
her show her spirit, in repulsing any advances of 
his that were derogatory to her dignity as a true 
woman, his feeling for her deepened into real love. 

Evening after evening he had met her, and passed 
on without venturing to address her, or attempting 
to make her acquaintance; and the occurrence to 
which he referred was the first opportunity he had for 
exchanging a word with her. Since then, they had 
occasionally spoken to each other, and his manner 
was always very demonstrative of his admiration, 
while hers was decidedly repressive of anything like 
a similar expression. 

Never, at any time, did she give him the least 
encouragement to suppose that she could possibly be 
brought to treat him in any other way than as a 
superior, whose notice could only be temporary, and, 
therefore, must be injurious to her. There was no 
relenting in her manner, even now, nor in her 
heart. It was as free as ever from any emotion, 
save vexation at the remembrance of the encoimter 
with her father, and as devoid of the feelings which 
Sullivan desired to enkindle in it, as a child's. 

But Mary felt kindly and gratefully toward the 


300 


MAH¥ DESMOND, 


young man, and was not rudo or abupt in her denial 
of his suit. He pressed it with ardour, and, all 
the way to Mrs, Gleeson's, argued with her on the 
subject of love being a leveller of all ranks, and 
such-like sophistries; none of which, in the least, 
affected her, or brought her over to his interests, 

“ The first and last is the same word with me, 
Mr, Tom, I don^t want to maiTy jmu. My feelings 
is not like yours, I^in not so fond of you, as you 
are of me, 

“Then, you are fond of some one else, Mary; 
just say that you are, and it will soften the blow to 
me. Are you, dearest, or are you only trying my 
love, and playing with it ? 

Mary was about to reply, when round the comer 
of the road came the forerunner of the blind man, 
the little tan terrier; and, as usual, his scent was 
troublesomely accurate. He pulled and tugged his 
master towards^ Mary ; the blackness of night was 
no shelter from his sagacity, nor from his naaster^s 
sharpness. 

“ Ah ha, Mary, are you there, my girl P Here, 
let me hold you by the hand, for I’m tired a bit with 
w^alklng all day. You see, we always find you out. 


MART DESM03JD. 


301 


There is no hiding from us, is there Jip ? I feel 
there^s a man in the company, but Jip knows him, he 
met him before j well that same is no wonder, for all 
the world knows the blind beggar-man and his dog/^ 
said Mary, in a pained tone, to her loYer, and 
he, hoping to gain her regard by his prompt obe- 
dience, immediately went off, walking away in the 
direction of the town; the connection between his 
beautiful Mary and the blind man, who, at one time, 
was her foe, and another her friend, puzzling him 
greatly* 

^* Tell me, as you yalue my blessing, who that 
was, Mary, for I know he was a sweetheart by the 
Yery step of him,'^ asked old Desmond* 

“ I'll not tell you a word about him, so don't ask 
me,” answered Mary, yery crossly and shortly* “ I 
tell you what it is,” said she, “ you must quit Carri- 
ginis, and that soon and sudden*” 

“Why for should I be put undther your ordthers,” 
drawled the mendicant, “don't you know I has my 
work here to do, and a holy and blessed one it is, and 
salvation is at the end of it ? ” 

“ Go do it then, and let me alone* It is a quare 
service you are in, that don't support you*” 


802 


^rARY DESMOND, 


How do you know but it will 
Theiij lean on it, and don’t come to me for any 
more money 

The father and daughter parted, and did not meet 
on the following Saturday eyening. It would seem 
that the blind man was telling truth, when he 
asserted, that he had found out a means of subsist- 
ence, independently of his daughter, 

Mary found her circumstances greatly improyed by 
the withdrawal of his claims, and his personal absence 
was also a great deliyerance. She sometimes won- 
dered where he was, but did not seek to discover him, 
and contented herself by expressing ^urprise to Mrs, 
Gorman, that she never happened to meet him, at 
mass or anywhere,” 

Mary’s repulse of young Sullivan’s suit, was not so 
effective as she intended. He still prosecuted it, and 
persevered in putting himself in her way, and doing 
all that he could to alter her determination. She 
had not told him that another was before him in her 
heart ; and he was young, and had all the faith of a 
true-hearted Irishman in the power of love, 

, She can’t hold out against me,” thought he, if 
the coast is clear, and there is no one between us.” It 


MARY DKSMOlSfD. 


303 


was lim constant anxiety, then, to solve this doubt, 
and to press his claim on her attention, Not oh- 
trusivelj, nor offensively, but steadily and firmly, he 
adhered to his course ; and a day never passed over 
their heads, but they met, if it were only for a mO’ 
ment, and exchanged a word, Sullivan never, by 
the slightest act, overstepped the harrier Mary's 
sensitiveness and reserve placed between them ; he 
endured her coldness and her distance of manner, 
and Kved on in hopes that a ray of the light of love 
would at last be kindled, by his perseverance, in 
those eyes which formed for him the only sun whose 
beams could enhigbten his existence* 

Interdicted from any other course, by Mary^ s ex- 
press commands, as well as completely prevented by 
her manner, this devoted admirer restrained his con- 
versation within the bounds of ordinary friendly 
interchange of communication* They often walked 
together for hours, of an evening, and visited 
and revisited, in these pedestrian excursions, all the 
lovely scenes of the valley of the Rock, The under- 
standing between them was, at least, founded on 
profound mutual respect ; and the topics on which 
they conversed bad a bias of a peculiar cbaracter. 


304 


MARY DESMOND. 


which contained a strong fascination for them both. 
The subject that interested them both so intensely, 
and that wrought up their spirits into so extreme a 
state of excitement, was that theme so engrossing to 
every mind of their race — the idea which absorbs the 
whole mental energy of every individual of it, man, 
woman, and child — politics ! 

Mary’s acquirement of the power of reading intro- 
duced her all the more widely into this arena. She 
had quite enough information to enter fully into her 
lover’s arguments and speculations. The sympathy 
between them, about the wrongs of their country, 
was intense, and they discussed them until the con- 
templation became anguish. They both had vivid 
imaginations and lively temperaments, strong nerves 
and acute sensibilities ; and they agonised at every 
pore ’’ over their conception of the state of Ireland. 
The weaker of the two, as may be expected, was the 
more violent patriot. 

Mary^s ferocity was worked up to a pitch of readi- 
ness for any sort of action, and she infected Sullivan 
to such an extent, that he longed for the opportunity 
to put her impulses into effect. They had plenty of 
inflammatory information supplied to them by the 


MARY DESMOjXD. 


305 


newspapers and other publications : the pulpit, and 

1 1 ' ^ it ^ 

all such vehicles of commumcation with the people, 
being also freely made use of to circukte inflated 
statements, and erroneous views of the objects and 
proceedings of the government. 

The “ Young Ireland '' party was sowing its seed 
broadcast over the land ; and no soil was better pre- 
pared for it than those two hearts. Nor were they 
isolated cases : they represented, unfortunately, a 
vast multitude, similarly ready for the implantation. 
The ground was prepared, and in the very condition 
that suited the growth of that crop, indigenous to 
the green island — rebellion. In that kingdom 

nothing else seems to thrive ; no matter how statistics 
inform us of the decrease of other things, this remains 
^troublesomely prevalent, and threatens to become 
perpetual. It seems impossible to uproot it. Clear 
away its probable causes, and redress its grievances 
by concessions — Maynooth grants — Government ap- 
pointments; cultivate cereals — flax — industry— and 
all such things ; give tenant right and gratify every 
demand, but all will be fruitless. In vain favours 
descend from "" The Castle,"^ Hke the dew of Hermon ; 
yea, they may have the full powers of those that fell 


X 


306 


MARY IDESMOND. 


on Aaron’s beard, and cause the “ good and pleasant” 
spectacle, of brethren apparently living in unity. 
But all these fail to secure against the return of the 
noxious weed, which, like the upas tree, blights the 
beneficent agency, that good- will” labours to estab- 
lish. This root of bitterness springs up again and 
again, and leaves no hope that any human interest 
shall ever flourish in that land, except such as can 
subsist on this description of food. This is the fact 
that drives one to despair of real peace in this unhappy 
portion of the British empire. Generations succeed 
each other on its surface, only to exhibit fresh proofs 
that they derive their political nourishment from the 
seditionary pabulum on which their ancestry also 
fed. 

** Mary,” said Sullivan, one day, when they wer# 
taking one of their long walks, now that I know 
who your father is, and all about his goings on here, 
tell me for what he was hung — you may trust me 
that far now, I think.” 

It isn’t for fear you’d inform, or anything of that 
sort, that I didn’t make it known to you before, but 
it is because he is so changed, and got so mean and 
nasty since he was blinded and turned beggar, that 


MAKY DESMOXD. 


. 307 


myself can’t believe it is the same man is there at all 
at all, and you’d never be able to believe he was once 
dacent/" 

Oh, but I can, if no one else ever does ; for his 
daughter's sake, I shall believe all that ever could be 
good about him.*' 

“ Well, 111 tell yon our whole history now, and 

* 

judge you, if we haven't cause to bear ns up before 
God, for anything we'd do to the Sassenachs* When 
I was born, my father was a well-to-do farmer, with 
bis twenty- one acres of ground in the County Mayo, 
We had pigs, and fowl, and potatoes ; and sure 'tvvas 
a saying that my mother was ' a woman of three 
cows,* for that was her fortune coming to my father, 
I dunoa how they got on at all, but they run through 
a deal. They never had but me* My mother was 
a sickly woman, and I was her only child. She was 
quite given up to God and the priest, and has a high 
place in heaven this minit, her prayers and her 
penances were so great, let alone her charity, which 
she was always doing, — giving away like a fountain. 
My father says she used to leave the house as bare 
as a whistle, no matter how^ the fillin' in was to bo 
^ot. Neighbours said, that she had the biggest 


308 


MARY DESMOND. 


hand in the parish, and kep up the priest in shirts, 
and bacon, and stockings, and eggs, enough to make 
him as fat as a fool. 

‘‘Well, times got bad with them somehow or 
other, and my father came short of his rent, and the 
tithes, and then he tuck into his head that he had 

no right to pay them, and that the landlord was 

« 

only an invader sent by Cromwell, and that the tithe 
proctor was the devil^s own agent to make people 
support a sinful religion for the heretics ; and so he 
swore that the man that would force those dues out 
of him, he’d have his life. My mother seen him 
cleaning his gun, and keeping it ready loaded, and 
she, nor no one else, believed he’d use it on anything 
but a bird or a rabbit. I was a little walking infant, 
and not up to anything at all, when he done it. He 
was out of a day, at a funeral, amusing himseK, and 
my poor mother was lying sick in her bed, (God rest 
her soul !) myself was playing about, as gay as a 
lark, when a big man came and asked, ‘ Is Desmond 
here ?’ says he. ‘ Jfo, sir,’ says my mother out of 
her settle, where she was keeping herself warm. 
‘He’s keeping out of my way,’ says the man, 
‘ and it is well the cows is not ;’ and out he went to 


MARY DESMOND. 


309 


the shed, and he drives the cows out before him, and 
down along the road to Mayo. It was the market 
daj, and he up and sold ^em to a butcher, and put 
the money in his pocket, and went home to his 
dinner, as if he done no wrong. It was ^ the law,^ 
the neighbours said, and they strove to keep my 
father down, but nothing would hold him. 

^ Gro before the magistrates,^ says they, 

^ Catch me at such second-hand work/ says he, 
^ 111 go to mj God with the case, and hell do me 
justice. There^s where every man gets his rights,' 

“ ^ Out he went, my dear, and what would you have 
of it ? but he shoots the procther that night, as he 
was riding up to the city to lodge Iiis money in the 
bank. He never robbed him, but let him lie on his 
side all of a heap where he fell, and his pockets full 
of gold ; my father mounted his horse, and rode for 
his life. But in the town of Slay there was a Pro- 
testant man that knew the baste, and set the peelers 
on the watch. So %vhen news of the murdther was 
stirred about, they laid hands on my father j and he 
did not deny it, but went boldly up,' and let 'em do 
what they liked with him. He was tried, and con- 
demned, and when my mother heard that the judge 


310 


MARY DESMOND. 


put on the black cap, and sentenced him to be hung> 
she gave a sereechj and fell hack in her bed^ and 
never riz up afther. She was buried the day he was 
hung, and he never knew a word of it until long 
afther, for them that recovered him didn’t tell him 
the worst for ever so long. I dnnna where he went, 
nor how it was managed— some says it was young 
doethors, and more that it was hein friends with the 
hangman, Galgy by name, that never yet was known 
to let any man slip that was real and true to Ireland. 
He had a way with him of doing it safely, and get-, 
ting them away afther, through means of having the 
bodies for a perquisite ; an’ sure it was himself he 
chated, for he could make more money out of a dead 
man than a livin/ any day, in his thrade." 

When I was left thin a poor orphan, praise he 
to God ! I was taken by one neighbour, and another, 
and kep well, and comfortable. All our things 
went, of course, to the landlord,. and still I had no 
want, nor never knew anything about my poor 
father, though the very thoughts of him was wor- 
shipped hy the gossips that stood to me, and they 
remembered him morning, noon, and night in their 
prayers. Well, I got a crochet needle, and begun 


MARY DESMOND. 


311 


making the edgings, and took into my head to travel 
where it was giving out as a way of living, and my 
mind was set upon making for Taimey Convert, 
when, of a fine day, a blind beggar-man came into 
Mrs, Hnrley^s, the woman that had me, and says he, 

' God save all here ! ^ 

“ ' God save yon kindly, sir/ says she. 

^ Whereas the little child of the Desmonds,^ says 
he, ^ that is about these parts, can you tell me, good 
woman ? ^ 

‘ In this hoiise this minit, and oppossit you, too ; 
but she^s a grown slip now, and no child/ says she. 

With that, he hnUagoned out— you’d hear him a 
mile off, 

t€ ( are yon at all P ’ says Mrs, Hurley, says 
she, * I’m her father, if I’m a living man/ says he. 
With that, we all begun screeching, and roai'ing, and 
in came neighbours, and joined us, and such a noise 
as was there, I’U never forget, 

“ He soon told his story. He took work as a 
quarry man in Wicklow, and there got blind by a 
blast of powdher, and then went on the road as a 
regular beggar, and foUyed his dog about the conn- 
thry, and that was the short and long of it, my 


312 


MARY DESMOND. 


dear. He had heard tell a dale about the lace, and 
%vhat a power of money girls was getting by it, and 
he was all for my starting, and getting tached at 
wanst. So we went, he and I together, out on the 
world, and I done for him what I could from that 

I 

day to this.^^ 

And badly he repays your deirotion, I must say,” 

replied her auditor. “ He does a deal of dirty work, 
that better men would not meddle with, I wouldn't 
wonder if his conscience got a twist, when he was 
scragged that time. ^ Stretched ' they used to call it 
in them days ; and it seems to have been a real 
stretch in your father's case. It lengthened his 
days beyond the ordinary span. How old is he, 
Mary ? ” 

“ Nigh upon seventy-nine, and he so hearty and 
strong. Can it be the whisky keeps him like thisP ” 
'^Many says it is, I can assure you/' repHed 
Sullivan, but if it is, it is a bad spirit it keeps in a 
man, and he's better dead than giving it his body to 
work in,'^ 


CHAPTER VIII. 


Tom Sullivan and his father were both employed in 
the office of which Mr. Black, Mary^s late employer, 
was the head. Their efficiency and moral worth 
were very much approved of ; in fact, it was the 
character which the father bore, that procured for 
thje son his appointment, and the arrangement was 
generally considered a satisfactory one. 

Mr. Black had great confidence in the Sullivans, 
and treated them very liberally. He frequently 
availed himself of the services of the younger one at 
his own house, whenever extra work demanded in- 
creased activity in the department in which he was 
engaged. According as Mr. Black aged, this course 
was often adopted : and during one whole winter, 
when Mr. Black had very bad health, in order to 
lighten his labour, and to husband his failing 


314 


MAHY DESMO^fD. 


strength^ he pursued the system of doing the greater 
part of his business at home, with Tom Sullivan for 
an assistant, sending liim to and fro to the offiee with 
messages and important communications. 

This management rather added to SuUi van’s 
duties, but he fulfilled them unremittingly, and was 
not known to complain in the least of the amount of 
work imposed on him. His evenings were a good 
deal ejicroached on by his additional occupation, and 
he was prevcnted/rom taking as much amusement as 
he otherwise should have done. But he was amply 
paid by Mr, Black for the services which he rendered, 
his earnings being very nearly doubled without com- 
mensurate exertion, so that the pecuniary advantages 
considerably outweighed any temporary inconveni- 
onces that he incurred. 

Many opportunities were afforded him of being 
peculiarly useful to Mr, Black, and Sullivan availed 
himself of them, and was found so generally serviceable 
and obliging, that a pleasant feeling subsisted be- 
tween him and his emplo}^er. 

Miss Black was a person of some interest to Sulli- 
van, as she went m and out of her father'^s study. 
He connected her in his mind with his Mary, whose 


MAEY DESMOND- 


315 


period of eervitiide in that house had been to him a 
time of intense ans:iety and distress- What misery 
he had endured as he thought of her attractions^ and 
imagined the opportunities she had for getting 
married to some one in better circumstances than 
those to which he aspired. 

Anything, indeed, whateyer it was, that caused her 
to leave off domestic service as an employment, was a 
matter of rej oicing to him. He conld not bear to think 
of her as a servant in anybody’s house, and in the 
way of the rudenesses from persons above her posi- 
tion, that such a state permits of ; his excessive jea- 
lousy leading him into an error, as to the risk in these 
respects, attendant on the line of life against which 
he was so violently prejudiced. 

There really is nothing of the kind attached to 
the relationship of master and maidservant in Ire- 
land. The respectability of women in this occupa- 
tion is peculiarly regarded, and specially preserved ; 
and in no other condition is such protection accorded 
to females, as in that of domestic employment. 

Had Sullivan known Mary Desmond as well while 
she was engaged in it, as he afterwards did, his fears 
for her safety would have entirely disappeared. But it 


316 


MARY DESMOND. 


was not until she had quitted the service of Miss Black, 
that their acquaintanceship progressed heyond the 
exchange of looks, in chapel and elsewhere. Miss 
Black little knew that her father^s clerk took any 
notice of her, as she glided about, and, now and then, 
interfered with the course of business, in order to 
induce her father to attend to his health. Her 
sweet, womanly ways were very charming, Mr, 
Black derived much comfort and pleasure from them ; 
and Mr, Harris, who was a frequent looker on, found 
them absolutely bewitching. Neither of them ever 
thought of the clerk, as anything more than a mere 
writing machine ; and, while he sat there dri\dng his 
quill, as utterly disregarded him, as if he were a 
clock, or any other such useful, self-acting instru- 
ment, f 

As to any connection subsisting between him and 
Mar)^ they knew nothing, and for her they retained 
no very particular regard. Her violence and irrita- 
bility left an impression on their memories, that 
effaced the kindly sentiments which they had felt_ 
towards her in the beginning of their acquaintatice^ 
with her, 

Sullivan/^ said Mr, Black, one day, “ I have a 


MARY DESMOND. 


317 


long job for you, and I wish to arrange with you 
for your evening work. I’ll pay well, as it is 
special business. It may last a long time, so it 
will be well worth your while to devote your atten- 
tion to it.” 

I’m sorry that I can’t do it, sir; my evenings are 
engaged, and I am unable to get free of my occupa- 
tion.” 

‘‘ Oh, indeed, why I thought it was only an honor- 
ary secretaryship that you held in that new society. 
Is there a salary then, and a regularly paid agency ? ” 
“ No, sir, there is no salary — it is a gratuitous 
affair, but I am as much bound to it as if it was re- 
munerative.” 

Nonsense, man; don’t be so chivalrous! You 
really can’t afford it. You ought to be making 
money every hour of the day that you can. It is a 
misfortune for Irishmen that they do not know the 
true value of time. It is your money ; why should 
you give it for nothing ? ” 

‘‘ I have my compensation for it in store, sir, and 
I am satisfied with it. Perhaps my countrjunen, 
also, are content in the state that you so much disap- 
prove of.” 


318 


MARY DESMOND. 


‘‘ Oh, may be so. I hope they and you mayn’t 
be disappointed, that’s all I have to say.” 

This conversation occurred as Sullivan was stand- 
ing up to leave off work one afternoon, and its result 
discomposed Mr. Black very considerably. He was 
in a greatly excited state When his daughter entered 
the room, as she usually did on the departure of the 
clerk. 

What is the matter, papa ? ” said she. 

“ A good deal then,” he replied. I quite counted 
on Sullivan’s getting all those reports and returns 
done by Easter; and so he could, too, if he would 
give the time to them ; but the idle dog actually re- 
fuses to be hired to complete them for me ! He de- 
clines evening work at any pay, and prefers these 
meetings, where he spends his time for nothing — 
giving labour for his soul, I suppose, serving the 
Church, or the coimtry, or some such folly. I am 
sick of the bore of dealing with fellows who won’t 
work at anything that is good and useful for them- 
selves, but must spend their energies in doing mis- 
chief, I’m convinced that it is politics that is be- 
wildering that fool of a fellow, and keeping him from 
earning a good living. I wish I could see his 


MARY DESMOND. 


319 


father, and have a talk with him. It; may be well to 
try and save the young man from the consequences 
of the rig that I fear he is running.’^ 

Indeed, I am quite sure,’' said Miss Black, that 
there is some political agitation going on in connec- 
tion with that ‘ Young Men’s Improvement Society,’ 
in which Sullivan is so active a member. Nothing 
but some such work would induce him to give up his 
pecuniary advantages in this manner. I shall not 
wonder if he go away altogether, and leave you to 
do this troublesome business with a strange assistant, 
without caring how it inconveniences you, or injures 
your health. I beKeve when once Irishmen get the 
maggot of patriotism into their heads, they lose all 
common-sense, and become mere seditious machines, 
without point or object, except the desii*e to upset 
existing institutions, and create confusion and distrust 
between the people of this country and the English 
government.” 

“WeU, my dear, I hope whatever comes of the 
hobby Sullivan is riding at the Temperance Hall 
every evening, he’ll stick to me till I get my ac- 
counts squared with the head office. He, and he alone, 
understands my system of registration and abstrac- 


320 


MABY r>mM<ysD. 


tion, and inextricable confusion would result from an 
uninitiated hand coming in on the business. ” 

Come to dinner now, papa, and think no more 
about urged the daughter. Mr. Black complied 
with the first request, but with the second it was out 
of his power to do so. 

The idea that Sullivan might possibly throw up his 
present employmeut completely took possession of 
the sickly old gentleman^s brain. Health had, of 
late, greatly failed Mr. Black, and he was disordered 
by the want of it both in mind and feelings. 

A very heavy amount of overwork had taxed his 
intellectual powers beyond their capacities, and the 
reaction was fast setting in on his general system. 
Sleep frequently forsook his eyes, and nights of 
wakefulness and excitement wore common to his dis- 
eased condition. The sympathetic heart, heretofore 
only recognized in his bosom by its kindly throbs 
and warm, devotional feelings, now made its palpita- 
tions felt, as his greatest physical evil. This dan- 
gerous symptom of a fatal ailment, had been latterly 
very alarmingly developed, and it had awakened the 
most distressing anxiety on the part of his family and 
friends. 


MARY DESMOND. 


321 




Every care and every precaution were taken to 
keep him free from all that could possibly produce the 
least agitation. The responsibility and deeply trying 
duty of attending on her beloved father, devolved 
entirely on Miss Black, for her mother had become too 
infirm to assist her, and both her brothers were settled 
in distant places, engaged in their respective occupa- 
tions. They wrote home constantly,' and came often 
to know how their parents were, but neither of them 
could be induced to live in their native city. The 
social condition of Ireland was uncongenial to them, 
and they preferred to form the connections of life in 
England. 

Miss Black had to exercise all the self-denial of 
which a woman is capable, in order to perform her 
undertaking. She had to defer her marriage, and 
to make the claim of the lover of her youth subordi- 
nate to her filial afiection. This severe course 
had its efiects on her • disposition. The struggle to 
sustain her steps in the path of duty versus inclination, 
was a serious thing. It told on her frame, and she 
was far from being robust and strong. 

Mr. Harris was very discontented with the arrange- 
ment, and he clamoured continually against it. On 


Y 


322 


MART DESMOND, 


the very evening in which Mr. Black had the conver- 
sation with Tom Sullivan, just detailed, he attacked 
his intended father-in-law on the subject. 

“ I"ni sure it is not my wish to stand in the way of 
my child^s happiness/^ said this gentleman, feebly. 

Marry, young folks, and leave me. I am as well 
able to bear it now as I shall ever be— perhaps better. 
Every day will see me getting worse and worse, 
lower and lower. I^m sinldng fast— donh wait for 
my death — let me see you united and comfortably 
settled. I shall die more easily and cheerfully/^ 

When the old man retired for the night, the lovers 
sat in deep consultation, and they finally decided that 
they would marry immediately, and that the family 
party in Iilr. Black^s house, should gain a member, 
instead of losing one. 

Mr. Harris agreed to come and live with them, and 
share with his wife the task of tending her father^s 
last hours. The bargain was sealed, and a scheme 
for carrying it into effect arranged. The marriage 
was to be private, and to take place in a few days, so 
as to bring Mr. Harris into the house at once, and 
enable him to do for Mr. Black what his own sons 
were too far off to accomplish. 


M\RY DESMOND. . 


323 


It was absolutely indispensable, that the burden of 
his official work should be taken from this aged servant 
of the public ; and to do this, it was necessary that 
some person should enter into the whole of his affairs, 
and gain a clue to their full explanation. There was 
an exigency coming on, which demanded that there 
should be no delay in taking this step. The Govern- 
ment had called for voluminous reports and re- 
turns, and these, formerly so easily rendered, were 
now gigantic difficulties to the failing powers of the 
once clever officer. Sullivan, his right hand, was 
deserting him, and he was not in health or spirits 
to seek out a new assistant. 

The proposal made by Mr. Harris was the best 
possible form in which relief could come — a son-in- 
law, wiUing and able to disentangle the knots into 
which his various arrears of accounts had got twisted, 
appeared providential. The knowledge that such a 
blessing was in store for him, would have gone far to 
procure for Mr. Black some hours of rest that night ; 
but it was unfortimately withheld from him, and his 
poor throbbing head, distracted by thought, imeasily 
moved upon his pillow. When morning broke on 
the household, two of its members met, who, from 


324 


MAllY DESMOND, * 


very different canses^ had not been visited by the 
s^eet restorer, 

Jliss Elack went to see her father, and, as usual, 
take him his breakfast. He betrayed to her watehful 
eyes, at a glance, the kind of night he had passed* 
I^m ashamed to say, child, that I fretted hke an 
old fool all night, and could get no sleep, so I am 
fit fc|f nothing to-day ; and yet, I must go to work, 
aye, and hard work too, — that Sullivan will leave 
it all to me, and there is not a man in the town 
that I could trust to help me*'’^ 

“l^ot even William, papa ?’^ 

^^My dear girl, I should not like to bring him 
into my office, he has enough to do in his own/'" 

Not at present, papa, and he desires me to say, 
that he will put himself at your command until all 
those troublesome affairs are done. He wants to 
begin at once, and go into the business* He will 
go to work as soon as you like, but he makes a condi- 
tion*^" Here Miss Black hid her face in the cover- 
let, and was silent for a moment, 

“ What is the bargain, dearest ; how ie he to be 
paid for harnessing himself to my load, and drawing 
it up the hiU it is at tliis minute ? — Ah, I see ! but 


MARY DESMO:ST). 


325 


I won^t give that — not you, love, oh, no ! I can^t 
spare you, though I said I would last night. I am 
selfish again — I won^t let you go. Who would come 
to me then with breakfast ? and who would cheer 
your mother in the lonely separation that our infir- 
mities are now putting between us? No, no! Think 
of another mode of payjicjit." 

We have thought of a plan that you will s^ely 
Kke, papa 1 It is that we should live here, and that 
I should continue my old duties, and do them along 
with my new ones.’^ 

Ah, my child, are you able for all? Well, try, 
I am only too glad not to have to part with you. 
Have you settled any time or mode ? 

We have — this day week — a private marriage — 
no wedding, or visiting, or travelling ; just go out to 
church, and then home to work. I know it will 
^ please me best, and I am sure William will be happy 
at it if I am.*’ 

What a sober couple ! A quiet move, indeed, in 
the most joyous affair of life ! I’m grieved to cause 
my child so dull a season for her highest delight.” 

Never mind, papa, we shall be the more truly 
attached since there is to be no show of our love. It 


326 


MARY DESMOND* 


will be all for the best. You are content, then ; if 
so, oblige me by sleeping an hour or two,” 

1^11 try, but I haye a latent uneasiness for fear 
Sulliyan may not come this morning ; and so be- 
tween his idleness and my own laziness, the day will 
be lost,” 

TrYith the ease that the news his daughter brought 
him ^ave, Mr. Black^s excited neryes were soothed 
into composure. He soon slept like a baby. Miss 
Black watched by his side, and was painfully alive to 
the fact that the clerk did not come, at his accus- 
tomed hour. When his ordinary time for arriving 
was some time passed, she went to see if he was in 
his place ; but there was no sign of him* The 
library, where he generally wrote, was empty, and all 
the papers were strewn about, as they had been on 
the previous evening. 

Has Sullivan been here ? ” she asked of the 
housemaid, who usually admitted him. 

“ Yes, miss, an hour earlier than usual ; but he only 
poked here and there, and looked for something that 
he said he forgot last night, and then went out 
again. I said, ^ Will you be soon back ? for Bm 
going up to the bedrooms, and may as well leave the 


MART DRSMOND. 


327 


door ajar for you/ ‘ JSToj’ says hoj ' I^m not com- 
iag to work to-day, ’ and, with that^ off he set/^ 

Miss Black discerned that some uncomfortable 
doings were going on, and she resolYcd to try if she 
could make a temporary arrangement of the busi- 
ness by telling Sullivan the whole state of the ease, 
and making it a personal favour if he would come 
and finish all the writing and accounts, that he alone 
fully understood, 

“ Do you know where he lives ? she asked of the 
servant. 

No, miss, Mary Desmond used to know ; my- 
self never inquired. He was ever and always stiff 
to us. She thought he was in love with her, and 
was so conceited whenever he looked at her ; we wor 
amused at her blushing. But I don^t beHeve he 
ever noticed her at all,'''' 

Taking this hint, Miss Black sought Mary at the 
lace school, and there again made an attempt to ob- 
tain a kind and candid reply to her simple question, 
as to the address of SulKvan the clerk, 

I'm sure the sorra one of me can tell you where 
he Hvos/' was aH the answer she got ; and she left 
with a painfid impression that the ignorance was 


328 


MARY DESMOND. 


feigned, and that the refusal to assist her search 
formed part of a plot to injure and annoy her family 
in some way. 

Miss Black then proceeded to the Temperance 
Pall, where she rather suspected that Sullivan had 
engaged himself in another employment, and she 
hoped to find him there. She was not mistaken. He 
was seated at a desk in one of the offices of the hall, 
and seemed very busy. Miss Black did not catch 
his eye when she first entered, and, therefore, she 
had full leisure to scan the place before he gave her 
any attention. 

The interior of the Temperance Hall had a good 
deal of interest attached to it. It was ostensibly 
a place built for the accommodation of Roman 
Catholic societies for the difiusion of knowledge. 
"When it was first opened, it had afforded most effi- 
cient aid in promoting various organizations for 
useful purposes. Benefit societies, industrial associa- 
tions, and companies, got up among the people for 
their mutual advantage, such as ‘‘loan banks,^’ 
“ monies de &c., had all found space for their 

meetings, and earliest transactions, under its roof. 

Some of these were now at work on their own 


MARY DESMOND. 


329 


resources, and no longer required the gratuitous help 
the relief committee gave them ; and some had fallen 
to the ground, brought to untimely ends by the sec- 
tarian and party spirits that arose in their ranks. 

Mr. Black had, at one time, anxiously sought to 
unite with the people, and tried hard to identify 
himself with the first efforts of industry that had 
their beginning in that assembly room ; but he, and 
other good men and true, were chased away by the 
demon of discord and disloyalty that was born and 
bred of the discussions which took place between the 
members of the committees that had been formed 
for better work. 

Miss Black was keenly sensitive to the atmosphere 
of antagonism to her section of society in Ireland 
that was engendered by the principles put forth in 
the lectui'es and meetings held in that place ; and 
she felt the chill of the coolness which was evidently 
setting in between her father, and his confidential 
clerk. But she resolved, as it was her wisdom to be 
conciliatory to Sullivan, to act as if the existence 
of distrust between them was impossible. 

The moment their eyes met, a glance shot from 
one to the other ; it implied, “ I know you, and you 


330 


MARY DESMOND. 


know me/^ Yet there was no anger in her tone^ 
nor the least trace of anxiety;^ as she said in a calm, 
self-possessed, lady- like manner— 

Tom, I'm sorry you have to give up papa^s 
work so suddenly. Can you spare him a day or two 
until he suits himself ? And no one knows better 
than you that it won^t be easy to do that. You will 
be difficult to replace. Few realize his ideas of a 
good hand. He had you trained to his ways, and 
regrets you greatly/^ 

“ And I greatly regret him, miss/^ said Sullivan, 
unfeignedly, but I can^t help it/' 

f 

Yes, I understand it all very well,'' she replied, 
“ there are higher interests than your own at stake/' 
Yo, nothing hut mj own/' he burst in with. 

She is my own — my country is my own^ — hers are 
mine, and I am hers !" 

This heroic was interrupted by the opportune en- 
trance of a priest, or the rhapsody might have 
led to a very lucid exposition of Mr. Sullivan's 
views. The clerical geutleman gave a sharp look of 
warning at him, and bowed politely to Miss Black, 
who was not a Kttle embarrassed on seeing him. 


MARY DESMOND* 


331 


• He was the original of the sketch that had created 
such a sensation in her home. 

Mary Dcsinond, Tom Sulllyanj and this ecclesiastic, 
were aU suddenly associated in her mind, as con- 
nected by an electric chain, whose coils somehow 
touched her, and those whom she loved. It was a 
mere passing thought— a phantasmagorical delusion 
— a scene shifted as soon as introduced— a breath — 
fancy^ — an imagination, and no more* 

Was it really no more ? Then how did the colnci- 
dental ideas arise ? were they without foundation ? 

We know more than she. Hiss Black had not our 
acquaintance with the ties existing between these 
parties, and yet here she had a glimpse of the truth. 
It was a penetration, an hallucmation, an act of sud- 
den, subtle, sinuous perception which sees and dis- 
covers instinctively all that is needful to the well- 
being to he aware of. An instance of the sensitive- 
ness of human nature, every pore being a vehicle ; 
and of sight being diffused, and not confined to the 
mere eye-ball, but having a secondary, sympathetic 
influence in other parts of the system. 

Let no one reject the least exertion of this force ; 


332 


MARY DESMOND. 


it is supplied for our protection from danger, for our * 
warning in case of enemies ; and when it seems to 
indicate in an unaccountable manner, and undertakes 
to look, as it were, round a comer, it is but working 
its own right end. The instinct which is beyond 
reason is an invaluable gift. 

Miss Black had it in some uncommon measure. 
She now felt that it was difficult work to deal with 
her father^s ex- clerk, and said, very hesitatingly : 
Good morning, Sullivan ; I hope you will be as sa- 
tisfactory a servant in your present employment as 
you were in your former one.^' 

“ Thank you,miss,^’ he replied, respectfully enough, 
and resumed his occupation as she passed out of the 
oflSce. 

The door-step had occupants as she was returning 
that were not there when she entered. These were 
the blind beggar-man and his dog. They were well 
known by sight to Miss Black, as often coming to 
her house to solicit alms. God save you, misthriss,^’ 
said the blind man ; your gownd brushed by me, 
and I know it is a famale woman that is going out. 
Have pity on the poor dark creature.’^ 

IVe nothing to give at present,^^ was the reply 


MAKY DESMOND. 


333 


lie received from the passer by, and she was soon 
beyond the reach of his mendicant whine, which he 
kept up for several minutes, in hopes to extract even 
the smallest coin. Its gift would not have failed to 
stop his mouth ; and many persons gave it for the 
purpose of so doing, when circumstances prevented 
their getting out of the reach of his voice. Miss 
Black, fortimately for her, had the power of using 
the latter method of getting rid of his importunity. 

“ There’s no chance of a ha’penny from her,” said 
he ; she’s gone too far now. I wonder who she 
was at aU at all, an’ how she got in ; it must have 
been when I went for my glass. Will it bring me 
anger, I wonder ? Maybe it was Mary was within 
courting Sullivan. I hear she do be after him, 
though she is so sly to me about it.” 

While he was soliloquizing, the priest that went 
in lately returned. 

‘‘ You blind thief, why do you let any one in ex- 
cept those that give you the word ? I’ll take care 
to stop your pay for this sort of work.” 

“ Sure I never done it, yer reverence ; no one 

passed here but the brethren, so help me ” 

‘‘Now stop before you perjure yourself,” cried the 


334 


MAHY DESMOND. 


clergyman. ** You are just puzzled to know who the 
^voman was that passed you. IIow dare you have 
let her in against aU the orders you receive ? ” 

theiij yer reverence^ what orders ? For 
no one of ye ever tould me to prevent womeiij it was 
always men ye mentioned^ and if all the petticoats in 
towm was to he wafting about me Fd never have 
thought of stopping one of 'em ; faith^ mj belief was 
that ye wished ■ em to be about the place ; it keeps 
off suspicion, like ; while famales is in the company 
no harm is going on^ is what people generally 
thinks/^ 

Hold your tongue, sir/^ said the spiritual direc- 
tor, and mind my orders in future : don't let in 
man, mman, or ckiidt without the pass/' 

“ Oh ! trust me, I never did, nor I never will ; 
she that got in stole in while I was — '' , 

What, sir ; then you were off your post ; I believe 
you can't keep two hours without going for that glass 
of whisky. It will he the eternal ruin of you, you 
brute ; " and with this kind remark the minister of 
grace departed. 

The blind man sat still on the steps, and his re- 
flections were not very placid. I'm a brute, am I ? 


MARY DESMOND. 


335 


maybe so ; other people is worse. I wish Mary was 
coming along; she has sight, any way, and I’m getting 
rather afeard that things is looking black and ugly ; 
there’s 5uch brooding and hatching of plots and plans. 
Some day it will end badly for ’em all; and only my 
neck got its twist wanst, it might be stretched again. 
What more can they do to me ? Sometimes I think 
even the di^l himself has no more power over me, 
and I’m left to live for ever like the wandhering Jew, 
praise be to God ! ” 

Just then a hand was laid on his. Mary,” he 
, whispered. 

‘‘ Fes,” said she, in the same tone.' ' Are you my 
own real father ? ” said she ; can I believe it ? will 
you do a father’s part for me this night ? You must ; 
I’ll make you, if a drop of your blood runs in my 
veins, it will tmm and drag you to rescue me ! ” 

Eh ! yea ! girl, what’s the matter ? Who’s 
going to do anything to you ? ” 

Listen, father. As there’s a God above us I’ll 
tell all I know to-night, and to-morrow my life 
won’t be worth a straw. I’m in the tortures of hell 
with my mind : I can’t stand it another day, nor I 
won’t. Now, will you save me from them that will 


336 


MARY DESMOND. 


massacre me, and that will find out my informing 
the moment the words is out of my mouth.^^ 

Thin why do you do it, if you are so afeard ? 
Is any one to pay you for it ? or why are you for 
doing it at all ? CanT you koep it ? hould it, I tell 
you, the longer you hould it the more the saycret 
will be worth. I was near telling it myself a week 
ago, when I wanted money ; but now Pm well paid 
up. Are you wantin’ a trifle ? I could spare it to 
you now, Mary. Will you have it agra? There, 
don’t shame and disgrace us for ever by turning in- 
former.” 

Oh, father, father, you don’t understand me at 
all : mountains of money wouldn’t make me happy 
now, after what I done — betrayed them that weye 
kind to me ! Oh, it is I that am sore and sorry : 
black misery to them that tempted me ! May they 
have the worth of their conduct in fire and blazes. 
Oh, let me alone, I can’t contain myself, I’m going 
wild mad, I tell you. See here. I’ll drown myself 
the moment I enlighten Miss Black, and make a 
confession, and get her forgiveness. It would be 
more to me now than the priest’s. When I come out 
of that house where I am going. I’ll want you, and 


MARY DESMOND* 


337 


you must and shall come with me, and stick to me as 
a father should ! 

“You’re taldng leave of your senses, child ! I’ll 
mind you, and stick to you ; but it will be to prevent 
you making a complete fool of yourself. There’s 
Sullivan inside ; and by all accounts he is the com- 
forter and purtector you want, and not your blind 
father ; go in and talk to him*” 

“ It is from him I want to get ; don’t you know ? 
Didn’t you hear that I promised to marry him ; but 
now I never can*do it— no, never* He’s safe from 
me and my troubles* God forbid that I should bring 
him into my shame.” 

“Oh, you’re taking on a dale too much about 
shame* Where is it, I’d like to know, hut on them 
that employs the likes of us? There’s the place 
where the shame will be put, not on us ; and let 
’em keep it* They has all the good,- let them have 
some of the bad ; but ITl tell you the truth, I seen 
no good out of any of their schames* They uses us like 
an old pot, and kicks us aside when they’re done with 
us ; so I don’t blame you to he cracked with anger 
at ’em ! What do you think Father James called me 
just now ? a brute, if you plase ; as if flesh and blood 


z 


338 


MAK¥ DESMOND, 


could stand that, I was near to kick hinij the im- 
pudent ruffianj as if I was the dirt of his shoe ! Ah, 
we know now what priests is made ofj we see the 
other side of them/^ 

Oh, now father^ donH be wicked, there is bad 
and good among them. They h^e men after all, 
though one would not think it sometimes, they ^re 
so deep and decateful. But if Td have minded that 
good little holy man at the confraternity, I would not 
have come to this mischief ; but I canH stand another 
moment, come with me, father, dear,* Ihn your child. 
Ah, am I not? I have no mother ! Where can I turn? 
Where shall I hide my head. Come, oh come, take me 
somewhere, anywhere ! let me hide my head in any 
hole, oh, even on your breast. Have you a heart in 
j^our bosom for 3'our child ? Did my mother bear me to 
you? Oh, heavenly Bather, look down on me! Oh, 
Marj^, blessed Virgin Mother, am I too had for you 
to pity? Bather, get me a sop of straw to Ke on, 
take me home, help me, pity me. The pains is on 
me ! oh, Saviour I 

By this time the blind man had perceived the state 
of the case, and had risen, and had put his arm 


MARY DESMOND. 


339 


round his daughter. He was truly and naturally 
affected at last. 

^^Hold on to me, and let us get into a shelter/^ 
said he, as he tremblingly supported her. It was a 
piteous sight, the wretched woman leaning on the 
beggar-man, and the dog leadiiig both. They turned 
into a lane at hand, and went up a creaking stair to the 
very garret. Desmond opened the door by a secret 
contrivance, and Mary rushed in, and flung herself 
on a miserable bed on the floor. 


CH APTER JX. 


Miss Black went direct liome when she left the 
Temperance HaU, and was just in time to intercept > 
the postman who was leading her father’s letters, and 
to see which of them was the least likely to injure 
him, and to retain the others until some day when 
he should be stronger and beiter able to attend to 
them. Several were handed to her, and she took 
them into the library to examine them at her leisure. 

She was looking at rather a strange one as she 
was walking into the room, and did not observe that 
Mr, Harris was there before her. Having sainted 
her with the warm affection of a lover, they sat 
down side by side on a sofa, and begun the work that 
they now meant to carry on together — that labour hy^ 
which they resolved to relieve Mr, Black of most of 
his cares. 

They opened several letters, and one that was ad- 


MARY DESMOND. 


341 


dressed to Miss Blaok herself, caused her a great 
deal of surprise, and her lover considerable annoy- 
ance. It was an anonymous communication. A 
sample of those so commonly adopted as a means in 
Ireland to warn and to threaten. This was a warn- 
ing from a friend’’ to Miss Black advising her ‘‘ to 
have nothing to do with Harris, who was a doubly- 
dyed rascal.” 

‘‘ This is more to me than to you, darling,” said 
the gentleman in question, “ unless, indeed, you wish 
to act on it.” 

Oh, William, as if I were not used'to such things 
as anonymous letters, and did not know how to treat 
them ! ” So saying, she dashed the paper into the 
fire, and they both stood watching its consump- 
tion. 

“ So much for your enemies,” said Miss Black, 
look how they vanish, William.” 

But Mr. Harris did not look, his face was full of a 
strange confusion. He sat down deadly pale, and 
with a terrible air of dismay. 

You won’t have me now,” he said. 

‘‘ Why not, dearest ? ” cried the frank, open- 
hearted girl, ‘‘ What has happened ? Are you ill ? 


342 


]VL1RY DESMOND. 


Fm sure you are ! Is it fear ? To think that a man 
should mind such rubbish ! See, I care nothing about 
it. I won’t even think of it,” and she danced joyously 
about the room. 

Her gaiety was not contagious. Harris remained less 
relieved than he should have been by such an exhi- 
bition of her feelings, and was inexpressibly pleased 
when a servant came for her to go to her father. 

On Miss Black’s return to the libraiy, she was 
somewhat disappointed to find that her lover had not 
been sufficiently patient to wait for her, but had taken 
his departure. 

That ridiculous letter put him out of temper,” 
she thought, I’m sorry that he thinks so little of 
my good sense, as to suppose that I can be affected 
by such things.” 

The rest of the letters that had arrived by the recent 
post, were strewn about, and the volunteer clerk 
gathered them up and placed them on the to-be- 
answered ” side of the desk, at which she took her 
seat. She went through them very systematically, 
and replied to some immediately, with an announce- 
ment of her father’s sickness. 

One of the letters was a large official document. 


MARY DESMO^B, 


343 


and she did not well understand its contents. It was 
calling for more returns/^ and it was rather 
peremptory in its tenor. While she was occupied 
in reading it, a gentleman was announced. The card 
brought in to her was that of a well-known govern- 
ment inspector^ and she rose to meet him as an old 
friend. 

Mr. Goodfish was not quite so agreeably disposed 
as usual. He expressed cold regrets at her father^s 
state of health ; and began at once to enquire for the 
clerk and the books. 

The latter are here,” she said, “ but the clerk is 
not. Papa has had young Sullivan in that position, 
and yon may remember that he was very well ac- 
quainted with the business of the office ; but this very 
morning he threw up the situation, without assigning 
any cause. 

Still, there must have been some cause,” re- 
marked the inspector j Had he and Mr, Black any 
disagreement ? ” 

“ Not a word; on the contrary, my father offered 
him more payment out of his own pocket, if he 
would stay for a while, and at least finish those 
returns that are so pressed for.” 


344 


MAHY DESMOND, 


And ke would not P How very strange ! One 
can^t compel a man to remain in a place, of course, 
to which he is not boimd by any legal tie, but it is 
not ordinary — Yeij extraordinary, I should say^ — for 
a man to walk off in this way and at such a time. 
Can I not see your father, Miss Black ? 

“ Oh yes, certainly, as soon as IVe prepared him 
for your visit. His state is very critical ; the least 
emotion may cost him his life, so I must spare him 
the surprise your visit will occasion/^ 

Miss Black left the room on her errand to her 
father, and Mr, Goodfish put his feet on the fender, 
and opening a damp edition of the Evening Mail, 
began to interest himself in the news. 

After a time, he found this cease to engross him, 
and he began to wonder at her delay : Making him- 

self scarce, too, perhaps, going after his clerk ; no 
wonder if they did fly, if all I'm instructed about 
them be true ! I'm sure he shall ha%^e the chance 
from me. I don't want to hunt him down, poor old 
fellow ! That's a clever daughter, up to anything— the 
old dodge, * heart disease,' when wanted for examina- 
tion — doctor's certificate — when convicted — mad to a 
dead certainty." 


MARY DESMOND, 


345 


These were the thoughts that ran through the 
officiars headj as he sat and waited for his old ac- 
quaintance. But he was not at aU prepared for the 
sight of Mr. Black, when his daughter led him in, 
pale, and thin, and shaken looking, and requiring the 
support of eyen a weak girl's arm. The old style 
returned to the greeting that the inspector gave the 
heretofore respected officer. There was no feeling 
but pity to be evoked by the sight of such a worn, 
harassed man. 

You will give me time to prepare for your in- 
spection," said the elderly gentleman, I'm put out 
by iUness and by the absence of my clerk. do 
what I can to get things into order." 

** Oh, of course, of course, I have no desire to be 
strict, but I have duties to fulfil, and masters to obey, 
and my acts are of necessity quite uncontrolled by 
my feelings. Had I not better take the hooks, and 
let my secretaries investigate their condition ? " 
"^That is the letter of the law surely, and I will 
not oppose it, Whateyer be the consequences of my 
neglect, I am willing to abide by them, I confess 
beforehand, that my whole office work is in disorder. 
It is a relief to me to resign the thing entirely. 


346 


MARY DESMOND. 


Indeed, it is, perhaps, time that I did so formally. I 
feel that I no longer am able to fulfil my duties ; it is 
but right to let some one else do them.’’ 

^‘Let me understand you well, Mr. Black, you 
resign ; and I take you at your word. I meant to 
have suggested it. It is your best course, and will 
save you a world of trouble. Give me a written 
letter to that effect, and hand me over the documents 
of your department : it will be the only way to act, 
so as to escape all annoyance and inconvenience. I 
am heartily glad you are doing this on your own ac- 
count, and that I have not to advise it — I am very 
sorry for the necessity that has arisen. It is a pity 
at the close of a long and honourable career — ” 

"WTiat, sir, do you insinuate that I resign to avoid 
dismissal ; and that anything is laid to my charge 
that I cannot face and deny ? ” broke in Mr. Black, 
rising to a new energy. I meant no such sneaking 
proposal ; and now I’ll never flinch from my post. 
I’ll die at it, and never leave it unless death or dis- 
honour drive me from it. Aye ! and with a name 
unsullied too, and a fame undefiled by any imputa- 
tion of transgression against the law of honesty and 
faithfulness ! ” 


MAKT DESMOND, 


347 


The inspector was very much sni'prised* Miss 
Black was quite confounded. There was no one now 
so firmly self-reliant as Mr, Black j the hitherto 
depressed and desponding inyalid. 

Oh, Pm very glad, I^m sure, that you can bear 
the brunt, as you say, of all that is stated against you.^^ 
“ Stated against mo ? How ? What ? by whom ? 
It is a hard thing to condemn a man, and not to let 
him know the crimes of which he is acciised,^^ 

“Leave us. Miss Blaek,^^ said the inspector, “ a few 
words may settle the matter,” 

Miss Black was awed into obedience. She left 
the room, and she also dispatched a messenger to Mr, 
Harris, 

The evening shadows closed into pitch dark night, 
and still the two men were closeted below, and still 
Harris responded not to her call. The intolerable 
suspense of a wretch awaiting a sentence of doom 
was hers, dining the hours she sat, or rather crouched 
before the drawing-room fire. The servants frequently 
asked, “Shalldinner be served, ma’am? ” and as often 
had an answer that it should be postponed. 

There — as motionless as a statue, her eyes fixed 
on vacancy, her mind in a commotion as terrible as 


348 


MARY DESMOND. 


a midnight tempest on the ocean — the girl whose 
heart had but a few short hours before been re- 
joicing so tenderly in a happy love. 

It must be confessed, that it was more of her lover 
than of her father she was thinking. The anonymous 
better returned on her senses with a very different 
impression now. “Was there anything in it P if so, 
what?” AlaSj she was bewildered, she knew no- 
thing, and could but weep, and think, and puzzle, and 
mourn ! It was a miserable closing to her beaming 
noon. But the sad interval came to an end. 

The noise of the hall-door being shut after the 
departure of the unwelcome guest, disturbed her 
reverie, and she flew to And her father. 

The library was lodged on the inside, and she could 
hear him walking about the room, in terrific agita- 
tion, The moans and groans of a man in such agony 
of mind are not describable. Miss Black could not 
bear the sound of them~she rapped imperiously, and 
was at last admitted. 

Mr. Black clasped his child in a fond embrace, and 
they sat down, in trouble too deep for words. 

“ Where is your — your husband?” uttered the 
old man, in a voice broken by sobs. 

His hearer did not affect to misunderstand him, 


MARY DESMOND. 


349 


or to notice the substitution of a future for a present 
designation. 

Oh, William will be here presently, she said ; 
“ come and rest.^^ 

The aged parent was now her gentle child, and he 
suffered himself to be conducted to his couch. 

All night the daughter sat by his bed, and watched 
his fitful slumber. His rambling sleep-speech, and 
his waldng words, betrayed the subject on which his 
mind was dwelling. A considerable sum of money 
was unacknowledged in his books, and yet was traced 
to his hands by the unerring records of counter- 
entry that checked his receipts. The whole thing 
had the appearance of a deep design. A page was 
absent from a principal ledger, and a very important 
transaction book was missing altogether. These had 
to be found, and, that immediately. 

Mr. Black seemed to have no doubt but that 
Sullivan could instantly produce them, and his only 
annoyance was the bare fact of question or suspicion 
being for one moment attached to himself. 

Early next day Sullivan was sent for, and Mr. and 
Miss Black were for hours in the library exploring 
for the missing papers, but all in vain. 

Mr. Black then took a cab and went to his public 


350 


MARY DESMOND. 


office in the town, and up to a late hour at night he 
did not return. Miss Black thought it likely that 
Sullivan, on being sent for, went there, and joined 
her father in the search, and so she was not uneasy at 
his not calling at the house. 

No idea that he had never appeared at all crossed 
her mind, and when, at last, her father’s step was heard 
in the hall, and she ran out to meet him, her greatest 
surprise was to find him unattended by the clerk, 
from whom both a vigil, and a kind and careful 
assistance in reaching home, were not uncommon 
marks of regard. 

Did Sullivan come home with you, papa ? 

Did you send him for me, love ? ” 

He was not here,^’ replied Miss Black. 

Nor did I see him to-day said her father. 

Then he has not been found by our messenger.^^ 
He is gone out of the way purposely. Oh, the 
rascal ! cried the poor old man, to treat me so, to 
whom he owed so much.^’ 

The servant who had gone for the clerk in the 
morning here added that she had seen old Mr. Sullivan, 
and that he had offered to convey the summons to his 
son, but that she had not actually seen the young 


MARY DESMOND. 


351 


man. The fact that the elder clerk had not himself 
come and explained the absence of the younger, was, - 
in itself, grounds for fresh suspicion. Mr. and Miss 
Black felt this, and both, in silence, came to the con- 
clusion that something more base than they had yet 
imagined was beneath all that had, up to the present, 
appeared. 

By this time, the old lady had begun to participate 
in the family distress, and the evening’s post con- 
veyed letters detailing it to the sons of the troubled 
household. 

Harris had not called all day; and this was no 
small addition to the calamity. 

‘‘ Oh, misery of miseries,^^ wept Miss Black, that 
night on her bended knees, must he be a traitor, 
too?^^ 

The arrival of her brothers brought affairs to a 
climax. They soon discovered the whole matter. Sul- 
livan had absconded, and carried off the money, to- 
gether with the papers connected with the transaction 
in the office books. There was sufficient circumstantial 
evidence to prove this. No stain lay on the character 
of the head of the department. Still he received a 
great shock from the occurrence, and though he was 


352 


MARY DESMOND, 


not deposed from his place, he was obliged to retire 
froin its active duties* 

The public got a hold of the matter, with, as usual, 
the worst side foremost, and reports grossljr dis- 
paraging to Mr, Black, were rife in the town* If he 
did not hear these, he calculated on them just as they 
arose, and their possibility annoyed him so much, 


-*that absence from home was considered the best 
remedy that he could take* So it was arranged that 
heUand his wife and daughter should set out for 
* \ England. Accordingly, they left for the sister isle ; 
and a deputy entered on the duties of Mr* Black^s 
appointment* 

Meantime, Miss Black dealt with her lover more 
mercifully than he deserved* She wrote him a short, 
sharp note of separation, which though she would not 
rescind, nor listen to any remonstrance from him, she 
did not speak of his unkind conduct to any one, nor 
the suspicions which it awakened in her bosom* She did 
not know, indeed, all that rendered him unworthy of 
her love, but she had a sense — an instinct that he had 
fallen beneath her level* The expression of his coun- 
tenance on reading the anonymous missive, would 
not leave her mind— it was a revelation to her that 


MAKY DESMOND. 


353 


there was something she could not understand — a 
guilt somewhere that determined her not to accept 
his efforts at reconciliation. 

Her brothers did not eomprehend the casOj and 
were repelled from interference by her independent 
and characteristic mode of action. They went to their 
homes, and the daughter, and her father and mother, 
left for Torquay. Thereupon, in due course of time, 
the nine days^ wonder of the inyestigation in the 
office came to its natural end. 


A A 


CHAPTER X. 


A]^out the time that the eyents just described wbtb oc- 
Gurringj in the lyorthj family that had been so kind to 
Mary "Desmond, she was absent from the lace schooh 
There were several orders to' be executed just then, 
for extra fine work, and among others some from our 
gracious Queen, who condescended that season, to 
wear a parasol covered with Irish point* 

Mary's was the hand for which the superintend- 
ent designed the most difficult part of the work; 
and, therefore, she was asked for, day after day, in 
the class-rooms, but in vain* Her non-appear- 
ance, when such a remarkable and advantageous 
piece of employment was going forward, was not a 
little surprising, Einally it had to be sent to her. 
An inquiry was made as to her whereabouts, but 
no one could tell where she lived. Her work was 
brought in every morniug rather mysteriously, and 


MARY DESMOKD, 


355 


the orders likewise carried away in the same manner* 
A little girl — a creature of about six years old, 
poor, and nearly naked, came each day, and gave in 
the bits/^ and the message, and ran away before 
any one could question her. She had what is called 
by the Irish, a stop in her talk,” and it was hard 
to understand even the few words that she did say. 
One morning she made a laborious speech, and it 
was translated into a wish that the superintendeut 
should go and see Maiy, at a place described in such 
a manner that it would be almost impossible to make 
it out — down a back street into a court, and then 
aeross a crooked lane, and through an archway, and 
up a long alley, and then enter through a door, and 
go along a passage, up a short stair, and then turn to 
the left, and down a flight ; and then finally ascend 
five stories, to the top of a high house, where in one 
of the garrets — the west one — in a corner of it, under 
the skylight, in the eaves, JIary would be found,” 

A lady of nerve and sagacity undertook the mission. 
She came to the indicated spot after much wandering 
about, and found l\iary sitting up in a miserable bed, 
propped with straw, into a posture in which she 
could obtain the aid of the small amoimt of light 


.356 


MARY DESMOND* 


yielded by tlie aperture in the roof^ while with her 
needle and thread, she was weaving her beautiful 
fancies into cotton gems, that were one day to grace 
her Majesty's sunshade ! 

Oh, lights and shadows of human life ! Oh, royal 
lady on earth's highest throne ! Oh, lowliest mother 
on the world's face ! What brought ye into contact ? 
Oh, women, both alike in common nature's gifts I 
The lace-maker had a baby at her breast, and its 
sweet face gave life, even in such misery, a zest that 
none but mothers know ! 

It was some minutes before the visitor was able to 
bear the atmosphere of the apartment ; it was stifling* 
Dirt and poverty make a dangerous combination. 

The sight of her guest quite oyercame the wretched 
inmate of the room. She hurst into sad, affecting 
wailing, and it was long before any" coherent account 
could be derived from her; not until the baby's joining 
in the crying, did the effort to compose its Innocent 
feelings restore to the mother her power of express- 
ing herself intelligibly. 

Her first distinct announcement was highly illus- 
trative of her womanly instiuct : 

^* This," she cried, pointing to the infant with the 


MARY DESMOND. 


357 


pride of a matron, mine ! But for its sweet 
face I would have killed myself long ago/^ 

You are married then, I suppose,^^ said the lady. 
I am, ma^am,^^ was the answer, but it was accom- 
panied by a wild burst of grief. 

Come, this won^t do, Mary. Let me relieve you, 
what can I do for you ? 

^^Let me tell you some of my story, ma^am, for God^s 
sake ! Oh, listen to me like a Christian woman, and 
be merciful to me, for the innocent^s sake ; it done 
nothing ; let it be safe, but do as you please with me. 
Its father don’t know that it’s in the world ; I never 
asked him for a penny piece to support it or me ; I’ve 
worked, and worked, and you never missed my hand 
a day, and I’ve never missed your return. Oh, you’ve 
kept me up well with the work, and always paid me 
honestly, and never let me want. I thank you, God 
knows, from my heart ; but I’m broken down, I can’t 
keep it on : there’s an impression on me that I’ll soon 
die, and I want to make an atonement before I face 
my God.” 

Here the sobbing returned violently, and both 
speaker and hearer were so moved that a long pause 
occurred. 


358 


MARY DESMOND. 


Mary, air, and food, and (Juiet will restore you ; 
don^t despond. Go on; say what I am to do for 
you."' 

Ma'am, if you will hand me over the bundle 
that is in the corner. I'll do what I can to straighten 
things first." 

This request being complied with, when the parcel 
was laid on the bed, Mary looked round cautiously and 
begged her visitor to see if the door was well fastened, 
“ for fear he'd come in." 

“ "Who is he ? " asked the lady. 

My father, the blind man, ma'am ; and I can't 
let him know anything about this." 

When the wrapping was taken off the parcel, a lot 
of rags tumbled about, and it was disclosed that they 
were only arranged in order to envelope a package. 
This Mary placed in the hands of the lady, and did so 
with an ah of extreme mystery and importance. 

Don't open it, I beg, but give it into the hands 
of Mr. Black." 

I fear that I cannot," said the receiver of this 
evidently valuable parcel: ‘‘ Mr. Black and his family 
are gone away, and may not be back for a long time ; 
but I'll get it conveyed to them safely, don't fear. 


MARY DESMOND, 


359 


You had better tell me what it is^ and who it is 
from/^ 

Oh, that such trouble should come upon them 
that were so good to me, through my spite andfoUy! 

I ought to tell you, and I will, for I know you will 
do what is right and good hy all that IVe injm^ed. 
Rolled up there in your hand is the hook, and the 
papers, and the money, that Sullivan hid from his 
master when he was running away. He never took 
^em, nor stole ^em, nor made his own of ’em ; but hid 
^em, and left ^em with me to keep for three months, 
and this is the last day of the time ; so now my heart 
is light, the sin is cleared off, and we are all back in* 
grace and peace ! Oh, ma^am, the load they have 
been to me ! my soul was kep in purgatory with ^em. 
But whatever other wrong I done in this world, I 
was faithful and honest in this ; I did not betray the 
trust laid on me, I was not what I ought to he 
to Sullivan ; but now surely my debt to him is paid. 
Won’t it come all light now, dear madam P he’ll be 
clear, and Til be clear, and it will atone for our other 
sins that we have been just and true in this,” 

.Her auditor was aghast at the discoveries thrust 
upon her. The money and papers about which aU the 


360 


MARY DESMOjSTD, 


trouble and searcli bad been ; the disappearance of 
the clerk ; — all explained in a few words. Then the 
mixture of vice and ignorance, the confused sense of 
honour, and the wonderful tenacity of purpose dis- 
played, were additional and curious exhibitions to the 

mind of a woman, who, much as she knew of the 

% 

Irish character, had yet neyer surmised that it was 
capable of so gi^eat an amount of skilful treachery, 
grafted on its kindly sympathies. 

When she could comprehend all the inferences that 
were to "he deduced from the facts revealed, she asked: 
“ Where is Sullivan now ? Is he your husband ? 

• The last query was the first answered, and with a 
glow of enthusiasm lighting up her features the girl 
exclaimed, Oh, no ! not he, not he, praise be to 
Grod ! He ! Oh, dear ! he^d die before he^'d lave me 
to such misfortunes. No, nor he doesn^t know that I 
am another man^s wife. I hid it to the last ; though, 
dear knows, it was near costing me my life j and, 
ma’^am, I stood and talked to him the morning of the 
day the child was born, and he put the charge on me, 
and gave me the parcel, and if I died it would have 
gone with me to judgment. There it was with me 
ever since I took to bed, and I in dhread and fear of 


MAEY DESMOND* * 


361 


my life that the blind man or the dog would scent it 
out ; but Grod, he took care of it and of me, because 
there' was worth in it that no one knew of but him^ 
self/^ 

“And haye you been three months in this room?^^ 
“Yes, ma'^am, to the day, and never outside the 
door, and I never will, I^m afraid, until I am carried 
feet foremost ; and I never seen the face of a Chris- 
tian, but my father and the little girl/^ 

“ Do they Hve in this room ? 

“Yes, mahm ; and often has to go to bed hungry 
in it, w^hen the old man is on a reel and takes all 
that I can rap and run* Dut I must say he is not so 
bad to mo, for the child^s sake, he don'^t lave me want 
often/ ^ 

“ And yon never applied to your husband ? 

No, nor never will, madam/^ 

“ Will yon tell me who he is ? ” 

“ Tf it wor right I would : — but no, ma'am, let it 
be a sacret, and things wili turn out best* If I die 
it will he no matter, if I live all will be found out/^ 
“ Then your husband has behaved badly to you— 
forsaken you ? Why, if you are a legal wife, refuse 
to seek his support and protection ? 


362 


MARY DESMOJfD, 


* 

Mary's eye flashed with indignation as she an- 
swered : “ Forsaken ! worse, deceived ! He says it 
was no marriage to him, being a Protestant ; but I don^'t 
believe itj an' never will ; an oath is an oath, an' he 
tnck an oath, an' I tuck oath, an' no religion makes 
light of that ; bnt there's some truth in his wicked 
words, and there's some wrong put upon me ; but it 
is not mi/ doings. I was honest and fair, there was no 
chating in my mind to him, whatever there was to 
poor Sullivan, I wronged that creature, I did, I did, 

I confess it — led him along, and aU the time there 
was another after me ; but I would'nt have beared to 
that other, only for them that said to me, ^ it would be 
the best thing for me to have him, and to bring him 
into the true chiirch,' An' sure it is only what I deserve 
to be trated in this way — ^made a fool of ! but I scorn 
him and his manners. Oh, "when I think of the idiot 
I was to believe that the likes of him would marry me ! 
'Twas pride done it, ma'am ; I did not love nor hke 
him ; but I thought I convarted him, and then he 
was a ™ ; hut I dar'nt tell you who nor what 
he was^ — that would he more and more of the 
mischief/' 

I don't think so," said the lady, Why should 


MARY DESMOND. 


363 


you spare him ? He has not spared you sorrow, and 
exposure, and want.” 

‘‘ Spare him f I don’t spare him. I spare another, 
whose heart would be broken at his conduct.” 

A light flashed on the mind of the listener. 

Did you send an anonymous letter to Miss 
Black ?” 

A thick blush overspread Maiy’s face, and for 
some minutes she was unable to answer. At length 
she said — 

I think I know where that came from. It was 
not done by me. Must I let you know ? Oh, you’ll 
surely not betray it ? I feel as if it was adding to 
my sin not to be plain with you ; but I can’t, indeed, 
I can’t.” 

Well, I’ll guess; your father did it. You need 
not teU me any more. No doubt ho was well paid 
to be silent.” 

“ Spare me, now, ma’am ; spare me she cried, in 
agitated entreaty, and she hid her face with her 
hands, sobbing vehemently. Her request was 
granted; the lady took her departure; and in 
many subsequent interviews, the subject was never 
returned to. 


364 


MARY DESMOND, 


For some tiraOj Mary clung to her idea that a 
marriage was a marriage — must be a marriage; she 
tried to persuade herself soj and she tried to make 
her friend believe that she was still under the 
delusion that the ceremony performed in her case was 
binding. There was no suggestion of anything else in 
all her alliisionSj until one eventful da)?^^ when a letter 
arrived from America, from Sullivan, and it threw 
her into an agony of remorse, shame, and regret. 
She handed it to her kind visitor, in a fit of violent 
self-reproach, and buried her face in her hands while 
it was being read. It was a long, loving epistle, and 
it told her of easy circumstances and a comfortable 
home awaiting her in America, 

Oh, then, Tis he’d have taken a life before he 
left Ireland, if he knew how things was ; but I hid 
them then from myself, as well as from everybody, 
for I would not believe it,” 

But if he knew how things were now — would it 
not be the best could happen you?” ventured her' 
friend. 

Madam,” gasped she, “ I am not so far gone as 
that, I have some spirit left ! Oh, no ! let me live 
and die in the retrate that is fit for the likes of me.** 


MARY DESMOND, 


365 


If you mean the Magdalen^ Mary, I haye no ob- 
jection to offer ; but remember that you will have to 
part with your child,” 

Then I'll never do it* I'll stay where I am, and 

* 

work on,” 

“ But it will kill yoUj Mary ! ” 

ti y^iiat matter would that he^ ma'am?” 

“ At all events^ I must take you out of this place,” 
“ Oh, that will he the happy day, ma'am, for I'm 
miserable here* My wretched father don't want me, 
and. I don’t want him* There's little nature between 
us — drink and badness kills all good feelin's* That 
little stuttering girl is a child of his, that he stole 
away from her mother, the wicked fool of a woman 
-that married him, and he tries to make Jbim self a 
greater object by setting it by him as an orphant, 
to coax more charity by begging; an' sure she's 
got in the way of it now, and there's no cure for 
her.” 

,As soon as possible, Mary was conveyed to an airy, 
clean lodging, and made comfortable. She slowly 
and gradually improved in health, but her baby feU 
off and died, soon after its removal into a better and 
purer atmosphere than that in which it was horn. 


366 


MARY I>ESMOND, 


Strange that it should be bo, but all its prospects of 
thriving vanished after its mother^ s removah 

Mary mourned her bahe^ and made herself ill again 
mth weeping over it ; but neverj in her softest 
moments^ could any entreaty get her to tell the name 
of the man to whom she had been united by the 
illegal marriage^ nor to discover any of the parti- 
culars either of her acquaintanceship with him^ his 
connections, position, nor of the ceremony. These she 
guarded with jealous care, though frank enough in 
all other respects. She detailed all her other doings 
— the story of the picture ; the abduction of the 
Gormans ; the employment of her father as a spy ; 
SulIivan^s patriotism ; the purity of their intercourse 
— all Ava^ simply and plainly told, and the hearer 
listened to her strange, romantic tale, with a sad 
consciousness that the wild career had had an appro- 
priate finale ; but delicacy forbade any allusion to the 
hideous fact which was the worst and most painful 
of all that had come to pass. * 

When Mary's recovery was pretty well esta- 
blished, she sought and found refuge in an asylum 
for penitent women; and before entering these 
walls, sanctified to self-abasement, she took an 


MAEY DESMOND. 


367 


affectionate and grateful farewell of all her kind 
friends. 

The parcel contaming the money and missing 
documents safely reached the hands of Mr. Blacky 
and he was so far restored to health as to he able to 
come to CarriginiSj and hold a converaation with the 
preserver of them. He and his daughler had a long 
interTiew with their former protegee^ in which she 
thoroughly satisfied their mindsj that the affair of 
the picture was the root of all the mischief that 
occurred. The priestly annoyance was a peculiar 
thing, and revenged itself in a peculiar manner. She 
was its agent, and so was SuHivan. 

An effort was made to expose this to her intelli- 
gence, but she pushed it away, though she acknow- 
ledged to have chafed and fretted under the rule, 
and to have rebelled against it, but she would not 
rehnquish it, nor accept that service ** whose yoke is 
easy, and whose burden is light/ ^ 

No, sir, — no, miss, I must go into the convent, 
and end my days in the holiest part of my mother 
church. I know that there^s bad and good every- 
where — in her too — among priests and nuns as well 
as out in the world ; hut that must he, and I ever 


368 


MARY DES^IOND* 


and ahvays expects it, because they are only human 
nature, and but men and women after alL And now 
that I know that, 1^11 be on my guard against them ; 
never you fear, and no more plots nor plans will I 
work in, but labour for my own salvation, and never 
heed anything else/^ 

Here we must leave Mary Desmond, She is still 
under the care of the nuns, and Sullivan^s name is 
well known to the public ; in fact, it has a world wide 
celebrity, in connection with the Pederal cause in the 
American war, 

Mr, Black is no more, and Miss Black, who is 
now residing in the south of England, with her 
widowed mother, has, we trust, in the active and 
useful life she is leading, ceased to mourn over her 
painful share in the tale we have told j or, if she still 
sorrow, it must be mixed with thankfulness that she 
has escaped a connection with one whose disgraceful 
participation in one of its events, stiU gives him 
an unenviable notoriety in his native town. 









; *V‘‘ 




hi 



[-n^ V '-'’^ 


: .• ■; ’ " .-*•■ - • . * ' ■ 
' .’.y . '• • . ■ ' 

- ■ ■- ■:"'/•■• •■ 
r*';- • . V'S',y. '/'' . " • ■ ' ; '»■'•■•. . . • • 







APPENDIX. 


A.“Page 23. 

(BMraetfrom a Letter from Mrs. Moherts Mrs* Meredith) 
It \vill give me' great pleas arc to give you any infer mat iou 
in my power respecting tlie crochet trade in times past 5 but 
I regret to aay, it cannot at present bo said to exist in these 
parts. I do not think, for the last eighteen months, it has 
averaged £2 lOs. per month ; whereae, in 1852, and to 1859, 
my payments were dGlOO to £300 per month. You are aware, 
I doubt not, the work onginatod here, I have the original 
piece, that my deeply-lamented sister-in-law, brought from a 
fr*icnd of hers in Dover, of course, most inferior in design, 
not unlike crabs and spiders in succession, attached to each 
other. She, at that time, had a donrishing trade among her 
poor neighbonrs in Polka knittings but just at the moment sho 
was suddenly taken from us, the demand for Polkas ceased i 
I then taught five poor women ^ to copy the crochet spiders, 
and then lent them different pieces of old lajce,— and of their 
own ingenuity they brought it to itspresent perfection. I dis- 
tributed twenty-eight teachers of it tluoughont Ireland,^’ 

A Kkeness to the work which boro Mrs. Roberts^ name is 
only faintly traceable in that which the districts produce that 
received her teachers i for each locality soon formed, an indc- 


372 


APPKNBIX, 


pendent style and retained it. Mrs. Tottenham made the 
best specimens of crochet that were manufactured, and her 
pupils nvallcd the antique model laces more closely than any 
others. 


B.— Page 26. 

DTSTEtBDTIOPT 01 KEEDLEWOKK MANUFACTUEES. 


Districts. 

Mann^tures. 

Ardee 

Crochet laces 

Armagh 

Point laces 

Abbeycouvt 

Lace-running 

Adare 

Crochet laces 

Anamult 

Do. 

Blackrock 

Do. 

Ballingarry 

Do. 

Blarney 

Do. 

Bandon 

Do. 

Borrisleigh 

Do. 

Cork 

Do. 

Coachford 

Do. 

Carrigaline 

Do. 

Clones 

Do. 

Clonmel 

Do. 

Coleraine 

'Plain sewing 

Clonakilty 

Embroidery 

Dublin 

Do. 

Garbally 

Pillow lace 


Districts. 

ManafacturciS. 

Iniiistioge 

Pillow lace 

Einsale 

Crochet laces 

Kells 

Point lace 

Kildare 

Crochet laces 

Kileullen 

Do. 

Killashea 

Pillow laces 

Lisnakea 

Do. 

Limerick 

Lace-running 

New Ross 

Crochet laces 

Oranmore 

Pillow laces 

Roscrea 

Crochet laces 

Strabane 

Plain sewing 

SommerviUo 

pillow laces 

Tynan 

Point lace 

Thurles 

Crochet laces 

Tallow 

Pillow' laces 

Tullagh 

Embroidery 

Yonghal 

Point lace 


D.— Page 78. 

The Normal Lace School sent teachers to twenty localities, 
under the patronage, and generally at the sole expense, of indi- 


APPENDIX. 


373 


viduals became the medium of introducing the work to the 
market by their o\m personal exertions* 


Place^ 

Date. 

Patron , 

PesuUs* 

Stradbally 

18o2 . * 

Mrs, Sidney Crosby 

, , failed. 

Tulla 

1852 * , 

Miss Dwyer 


Lismore *****,,, 

1853 * * 

P* L, Guardians , , * * 


Boon * * * 

1854 * , 

Mrs. Atkinson 


Innistioge 

1847 , , 

Lady Louisa Tigh * , 

** succeeded* 

Oranmore 

1853 ** 

Mrs, Griffin. 

do* 

Newtown Forbes 

1852 ** 

Mrs* Digby .,.***,* 


Aehill * , * , 


Mrs* Atley * 


^Garbally 

1854 . . 

Countess Clancarty 

,* succeeded* 

^Ardee 

1851 .* 

Mrs. Ruxton 


■ Bajlindrait 

1852 

, Conntess of Erne , . 

do* 

Faimham * . , 

1852 * . 

. Lady Earnham 


Sommerville ♦ , , , , 

1854 . * 

Sir W. Sommerville 

* . succeeded* 

Dunboy **,**♦,, 

1844 *. 

Mrs, Puxlcy 

. * failed. 

Headford 

1852 * . 

, Mrs* Hunt 

, * , do* 

Kileock 

1844 

, Sir J* B. Euston , . 

. * do. 

Tremore .*,*.**, 

1852 

. Mrs* Aylmer 

, . , succeeded* 

■ « .*,'1 uu . 

Lisnakea * 

. 1852 . 

* Countess of Erne 

Cork *.***,**,... 

. 1853 *, 

. Countess of Bandon and 

others * : ^ i ' : > ffiiled*. 

Killashea 

1853 , 

* Mrs, Hudson 



In some cases it will be seen these efforts were successful 
and that a small amount of lace still continues to be made ; 
but that in others it entirely failed* Connected with this failure 
there is a yery remarkahle fact to be noticed, and it is that 
the lace did not fail to be demanded, but that it failed to be pro^ 
dueed* The workers never were content with the remuneration 
offered them, though it was generally greater than that which 
the laoemakers of Buckinghamshire, and the foreign lace workers 


374 


APPENDIX. 


obtained. The hands dropped off from the work, before it 
dropped off from them. They would not compete with the 
women who make the same sort of thing in other places, and 
gave up the attempt in disgust, while females of more plodding 
and industrious tempers maintain it with persevering patience. 

Valencienne, Maltese, and English laces have a certain'* 
standard value in the market and afford only poor pay to the 
makers of them. This has always been the case, and it is 
also true that they provide a sort of occupation which is 
very suitable and agreeable to a great many women in 
England, and abroad, so available and pleasant, that for 
many years past rather too much of those laces were being 
made, and since they accumulated more rapidly than they sold, 
they, in time, brought down their own value, and this, along 
with the imitations made in the loom, decreased their com- 
mercial worth some time ago. It was not knowledge of 
these disadvantages that operated on the minds of Irish- 
women in their rejection of this employment; the tinth 
is, that the nature of the work was adverse to their 
dispositions. It is mechanical, and uncontrollable by fancy, 
and has a fixed price which cannot bo unsettled by any 
manoeuMing. There are not powers connected with it, 
whereby a new sudden alteration of pattern may confuse the 
dealer, and give the maker a temporary advantage. 

“ I likes the crochet best, ma’am,” said a girl, “ because there’s 
hope in it. I may get ever so much for what I makes, if I 
happen to hit on a new stitch, and all the time I’m at it, I 
don’t know but I may have a lot of money coming to me, and 
I’m kep in spirits like, to the last moment ; but that pillow- 
work — och, ’tis horrid, ma’am ! you’re made sinsible from the 
beginning that you’re only to get the trifie of a price, no more, 
nor no less, and no thoughts will help you, you must go on 
with the thing to your ordthers, which is what until 

I can’t help it, plase God !” 


APPENDIX, 


375 


NOTE E, 

There is a stitch peculiar to the Calvados women , called 
Hucroe,^ it ia used to join together the flowers and scrolls of 
lace which they make on pillows, and is of the same character 
as crochet barring/' 



A 


SELECT CATALOGUE 

OF 

Jackson, Walford, & Hodder. 



fonJrra: 

27 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C. 


3-sea. 



April, 1865* 


Mtrrlis pMrs^eir to 

Jackson, Walford, & Hodder. 


The Land of the Grospel : E"otes of a Journey 

in the East. By Edmond de Author of “,The 

Bedeemei*," Small 8to , price 5s-, doth. 

Araki the Daimio. A Japanese Story of the 

Olden Time. By Mona B, Bickerstajfe. In crown 8vo., 
price Gs., cloth* 

It esMbits in the writer a rare amonnt of informatioii respecting the custome 
and maimers of the natires of Japan^ and the tale is well toM. The book is not only 
very interesting* butveiy characteristic and instructive/*— ttrritibr. 

Memoirs of the Life and Ministry of the 

Kev. Thomas Raffles, D.D.* LL.D, By Thomas Stamford 
Raffles, Esq., B.A., of the IiiDer Temple, Barrister at-Law, 
Stipendiary Magistrate for the Borough of LiTerpool. Cheap 
Edition, in crown 8 to., with Portrait, price 7s* bd,, cloth. 

*'Mr. Thomas Stamford Raffles has shown excbUcnb taste and feding in his 
memoir of bis father.'*— 

“ The volmne is excellently writtan,”— 

The Jewish Temple and the Christian Church ; 

a Series of Diacourses on the Epistle to the Hebrews, By 
R. W* Dale, MA, In crown 8fo., price 7s. Od., cloth. 

**The style is clear, capti'vating, and popular. It is impossible for Mr. Dale to 
write without ticking many thin^ beside the chief lesson which he has in band. 
His mind is most fertile, and Me remarkable bvmlty for explanation makes Mm 
more tbau usually interesdng.**— CAritiiiiTi S^ctaior. 

Money ; a Popular Exposition in Rough l^otes. 

With Remarks on Stewardship and Systematic Beneficence. 
By Re?, Thomas Binnet* Third Thousand, in crown 8yo-, 
price 5s., cloth. 

**Mj. Binney hue hero dealt with a great practical subject, end haa treated it in 
his usual clear, masterly, and suggestive Qaart&r^ 

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4 Jachson^ Walford^ and Hodder^s Puhlicatwm^ 


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The Fulness of the Blessing of the G-ospel of 

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This brilliaiit and eloquent TOliune ,”— of Stored IMenUute. 

Christ and Man; or, God's Answer to our 

Chief Questions, By William Bathoate, In crown 8vo., 
price 5s., doth, 

'• A volume Bingnlarly rich in thou^htfti] views on Christian trutli. in its relation 
to the age. It will repay more than a pemaal ; it is worthy of a close and affectionate 
studv. It is a veiw helpful hook, and has oiir heartieat and moat r^pectfnl good 
word ." — EdicHc 

The Divine Treatment of Sin. By J. Baldwin 

Brown, B.A, In crown 8 to,, price 5s., doth antique, red edges. 
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BY THE SAME AUTHOR, 

The Divine Mystery of Peace. In crown 8vo., 

price 3s., cloth antique, red edges. 

** WHl gratHy alike botli tbe thonghtM and the devout.* —7^ Eatricti. 

Thomas Baffles, D.D., LL.D. A Sketch. In 

crown 8 VO,, price Is., doth limp. 

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The Doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood, in 

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John Leifohild, D.D., his Public Labours, 

Private U sefiilness, an d Person al Cbaracteristi cs, Pou nd ed upon 
an Autobiography, By J. R, LEiFourLi), A,M. In 8vo,, price 
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Jackson, Wolford, and S^odder's Puhlicaiions. 5 


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7 B. , do th. Now rendy , 

Power in Weakness : Memorials of the Rev. 

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** This work comprises a rich store of historic Information of a very valuable 
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JacJtson, Wolford, and Hodder's Publications. 7 
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Modem France, its Journalism, Literature, 

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are most masterly /* — Court J^ourn^^ 

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" This familiar explanation of the moat interesting phenomena is well calculated 
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from the speculations on the difiTerent aspects of our system, as viewed from the sun 
and the several planets/* — Aih^amim. 

By the Bara© Author, 

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"Another of those delightful books of Dr. Dick/*— Jva«ttca.i Jft^itstrea. 

**A very interesting compilation, made by a practical man, and one which we 
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some author /*— qf England Quuriet-lg Rotfiett}. 

NEGEO EMANCIPATION. 

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** We have no hesitation in saying that it is the most valuable work on the West 
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A Comprehensive Chart of Ancient and Modem 

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the present Era ; with a comparative view of the Chronology of 
the Hebrew and Septuagint Yeraions of the Bible. Compiled as 
an Assistant to the Student of History, by J. Bates. Priee 
7s. 0d., iu cloth case. 

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to the reader of history.'*— 

** The work is very carefully compiled, and cannot Ikil to be useful, either for 
reference, or as a comp^ion to historicaJ reading/* — 

** Great care has evidently been taken in the compilation , , . the stadent will find 
!t very eerviceable, and it will interest the geneim reader /* — Ensluh Journal qf 


Jackson, Walford, and Hodder^s Pvblications. 9 

WORKS BY EDWIN H OPPER, 

I. 

Tossed on the Waves : A Story of Young 

Life. In crown 8vo., price 6s., cloth. 

“ Mr. Hodder writes in a pleasant sparkling way, and has the knack of carrying 
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** This is just the sort of story that boys delight to read.” — Athenmm. 

“ Mr. Hodder tells a stoiy remarkably well.” — Nonconformiet, 

II. 

Memories of New Zealand Life. In small 

crown 8vo., price 3s. 6d., a Second and Cheaper Edition. 

**A very graphic description of colonial society.” — Daily Newt. 

“ Animated and vivacious — firank, simple, religious, and sensible.”— 
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** The best account we have met with of the various social phenomena of a new 
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III. 

The Junior Clerk ; a Tale of City Life. With 

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Christian Association. In small crown 8vo., Second and Cheaper 
Edition, price 2s. 6d., cloth. 

** We are heartily pleased to see the Second Edition of this most inteiesting, 
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Thornycroft Hall; its Owners and Heirs* 

By Emma Jane Worbobse. Third Thousand, in crown 8vo.* 
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On Health. What Preserves, What Destroys, 

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“ Remarkably fitted to be usefuL”— RnYw* Standard, 


10 Jachson;! Walford, and Hoddet's Pvblieatiom. 


CONGREGATIONAL PSALMODY. 


Congregational Church Music. Psalms and 

Hynma for Chantiog, Practiee-Songa for Classes, 
(Weigh-Houae Series.) 

A complete List of the Editions and Bindings of the various works 
in this Series will he seat post-free oa applicatioa to the Publisbers. 

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Probably the collection beat adapted to present powers ia the eidarged edition 
of ^Congregational Church Muaic/ QuarUrl^* 

**Ir any competent precentor or leader of a chapel choir gets hold of it, wa are 
Inclined to think he will not rest till he gets it adopted as the time-book of the con- 
gregatioru”“Pair£i>l. 

The Congregational Psalmist! a Companion 

to all the New Hymn Books. Edited by the Rev. Hkney Allon 

and H. J. Gauntlett^ Mas. Hoc. 

A complete List of the Editions and Bindings of the various works 
in this Series will be sent post-free oa application to the Publishers. 

Congregations supplied on the same terms as the New 
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“It has every qualil^ that will attract and please at the first glance, and we are 
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judgment which the selection of music evinces, and, above all, for its adroirable 
fitness for the purpose for which it is deMigned, A further acciuaintance with the 
book has more than confirmed our first unpressiDns, while its adoption by many 
congregations, and tbe gratifying rcsnlU which appear in all cases to attend its use, 
afford continn^y multiplying sanotions for our own opinion,”— Ma§. 


The New Sunday-School Tune-Book. A Com- 

pauioa to the *' New Sunday-School Hymn-Book ” Edited by 
JaacES Sampson, Author of “ Sacred Hamionies.'* Square Ldmo., 
price Is. Bd., boards ; 2s., cloth I 2». 6d., roan, gilt edges. 

” The tunes are excellent, both intrinsically and in their adaptation to the hymns 
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peculiar, but simple and sweefc.^* — A’hsuro'jj/hriMirf, 

The New Sunday-School Hymn-Book. Edited 

by Edwin Hopder, New Edition, price 2d,, in neat Wrapper; 
or 3d. in limp covera. A liheral allowance to School a. 

Tboae desireme of binding the above with books already in 
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Jackson^ Walford^ and Hodder^s Pyilkaiions. 1 1 


PUBLICATIONS OF THE 

Cffitgrtgdiffnal Union fif d^iiglanir anir 

The New Congregational Hymn Book, and 
The (Old) Congregational Hymn Book. A 

complete List of Sizes, Prices, and Types, with terms to Con- 
gregations, will be forwarded on application. 

PnblLshed annually, price Is. 6d., sewed, or 3s. (id. cloth, 

The Congregational Year Book. Containing 

the Proceedings of the Congregational Union and General 
Statistics of the Denomination. 

The large oirculation Of tlie abore, and ita conataTut nao ae a work of refe- 
renco, recommend it as a desirable mediicun for ADTEaTiaEUBNTQ, a scale of charges 
for which is subjoined 

Six Ximea and under £0 8 0 j A Whole Pa^ge £3 10 0 

Every Additional Line 0 1 0 Bills of Eight Pages and under 3 10 0 

Half a Page 17 6 1 Not eatceeding Sixteen Pages 3 8 0 

Advertieements should be sent to the Pnblishcrs by the 12th, and BiBa (dOOO) by the 
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Congregational Church Records. A Series of 


Papers prepared by the Committee of the Congregation al Union, 
for recording Historical Facts relating to ChurcheSj Minutes of 
Proceedings, &c., &c. Folio, bound in green vellum. 

lat size, contaiiiing 2 quires, price 14s. | 2nd size, containing 4 quires, price 20s. 
3rd ahse, centainiug 6 quires, price 26$. 


The Contents ajid Proportions of the smahest si^od book are as follows 


Title Page, Ac, 6 pages. 

Historiesd Acconnt 12 

Churoh Minutes.......... 96 

Collections 12 


RoU of Cbnrch Members,. 32 pages. 

Marriages 12 ,, 

Baptisms,..**,.,,,.......,.,...,.. ... 24 „ 

Burials 12 ,, 


The second size containB twice the above quantities t and the third, three thues. 


Now ready, price One Shilling, cloth limp, red edges, 

The Congregational Manual, containing Tracts 

on Church Membership, Baptism, and the Lord^s Supper, together 
with the Declaration of Faith, Church Order, and Discipline; 


Or, separately, as below : 

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No. 2 — The IiOrd^S Supper; its Design and ObUgatloii. Two Shillings per doz. 
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xrao, 

The Declaration of Faith, Church Order, and Discipline, Price One 

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1 2 Jackson, Wolford, and H odder' s Puhlications, 

SCHOOL BOOKS. 

Le Petit Precepteur; or, Pirst Steps to 

French Conversation. By F. Grandineau, formerly French 
Master to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Thirtieth Edition, 
square 16 mo., with Fifty Woodcuts, 8s. cloth. 

n Piccolo Precettore ; or, First Steps to 

Italian Conversation. With Woodcuts, 8s. cloth. 

Der Kleine Lehrer ; or. First Steps to German 

Conversation. Uniform with “Le Petit Precepteur.” 3s. cloth. 

Select English Poetry. Designed for the use 

of Schools and Young Persons in general. Edited by the late 
Dr. Allen. Thirteenth Edition. Royal 18 mo., price 4s. cloth. 

Hymns for Infant Minds. By Ann and Jane 

Taylor. 46th Edition. Price Is. 6d. cloth. * 

Bjf the same Authors, 

Original Hymns for Sunday Schools. New 

Edition. Price 2d. sewed. 

First Lessons in Geography, in Question* and 

Answer. 229th Thousand. 18mo., sewed. Is. 

First Lessons in the Life of our Lord Jesus 

Christ. For Families and Schools. By Charles Wills, M.A. 
18mo., cloth limp, Is. 

First Lessons in Astronomy, in Question and 

Answer. Sixth Edition. 18mo., sewed, Is. 

First Lessons in the History of England, in 

Question and Answer. On the plan of “ First Lessons in 
Geography.” Sixteenth Edition. 18mo., sewed. Is. 

First Lessons on the Evidences of Christianity. 

By B. B. Woodward, B.A., F.S.A., Librarian to the Queen. 
Second Edition. Cloth limp, Is. 

By the same Author, 

First Lessons on the English Keformation. 

Second Edition. Cloth limp. Is.. 


Jackson^ Walfordy and Hodders PubliccUions. 1 3 


WORKS FOR THE YOUNG. 


A New One-Volume Edition of 

The Child’s Commentator on the Holy Scrip- 

tures. By Ingram Cob bin, M.A. Handsomely bound in em- 
bossed cloth, gilt edges, with Twelve Coloured Engravings, and 
Numerous Illustrations on Wood, price 7s. 6d. 

“ A most captiratinfr volomo.” — JEnanffBlieal Magazine. 

•* This most excellent work .’’ — School Union Magazine. 

**The varioos texts are well illuatreited, and the printing and binding are 
superb.” — FubUc Opinion. 

SUNDAY SERVICJBS AT HOME. 

Sabbath Teachings ; or, the Children's Hour. 

Being a Series of Short Services for Sundays at Home. By 
Baily Gower. Elegantly bound in cloth, price 2s* 6d. 

**It will admirably supply a want which has been long felt at home on the 
Sabbath where children cannot go to the House of Gk)d to worship, and it will be a 
source of as much interest to the young as it will be of gratification to their parents.” 
— WetUgan Timet. 

The Teacher’s Offering for 1864, Handsomely 

bound in cloth, price 2s., Illustrated. The New Series complete, 
Two Volumes in One, cloth gilt, price 8s. 6d. The Vol. for 1808 
may still be had separately, price 2s., cloth gilt. 

Sacred Harmonies for the Sabbath School and 

Family. By James Sampson. Price Is., or 2s. roan, gilt edges. 

** It comes much nearer to our own idea of what music for children ought to be 
any^ing we have met with before.” — Ckrittian Spectator. 

The Bible Story-Book. By the Eev. B. H. 

Draper. Thirteenth Edition, with Wood Engravings, price 
2s. 6d., cloth gilt. 

** Children of four and five read it with avidity, and never tire till the last story is 
reached, and then they begin again. These * Bible Stories * are worth a cart-load of 
the Sunday-school novels of the •^Evangelical Magazine. 

Mary and her Mother ; Scriptural Stories for 

Young Children. Fifth Edition, 18mo., with Engravings and a 
Frontispiece, 2s. 6d. cloth. 

The Contributions of Q. Q, By Jane Taylor. 

Twelfth Edition, with Vignette Title, in fcap. 8vo., price 5s. cloth. 


14 Jackson, Waif or d, and Hodder's Publications. 


WORKS BY “OLD MERRY” 

A Chat with the Boys on Ifew Year's Eve. 

In foolscap 8vo,, price Is. 6d. cloth, gilt edges. 

Parents may give it to their boya, persuaded that they will con every sentemce of 
it with pleasure and profit, We give it our hearty coromendation, and hope its civ- 
Gulation. will correspond with its positive worth.”“J'airw^, 

Fireside Chat with the Youngsters. In square 

16mo., printed on toned paper, price 3s. Bd., cloth elegant. 

Quite as cheery (is he was twelve months since, ^OM Merry/ in Fireside 
Chats with the Youngsters/ again plays the part of moralist and *johy feUow’^ to a 
ring of schoolboys who stand round him in tlie frontispiece. Old Merry’s sketch of 
*Mvr Braggadocia, Juxl./ is capital.'’ — 

' Uniform with “ Fireside Chats," 

Busy Hands and Patient Hearts ; or, the Blind 

Boy of Dresden and his Friends* A Story from Germ any. 
Printed on toned paper, price 3s. 6d,, cloth elegant 
“NieritK is one of the happiest of children’s storytellers in Germany, and the 
Blind JBoy of is One of nia happiest hales. The gay binding and dainty paper 

are worti^ of the book which has been translated with much epirit/’— W^rk. 


CHEAP SERIES IN ATTRACTIVE BINDINGS. 


One Siiilling & Sixpence eaoli. 

The Youth’s Bible Oyclo- 

ledia. Bluatrated with numerous 
ngravings. 

Animals : their Food and 

Instincts. Profusely DlustTated with 
superior Engravings. New Edition. 

One Shilling eacii. 

JACOB ABBOTT’S POPULAK STOBlilS. 

I, 

Agnes: A Franconia Story. 

New Edition, lilustrated, „ 

II. 

Caroline: A PranconiaStory. 

With Engravings. 

in, 

Stuyvesant: A Franconia 

Story. With Engraviiiga, 

** BcH>ks BO delightful to boys and girls 
of the school 9ge as these Franconia 
Stories I have never seen before.'*^ 
M&g. John €vrvm* 


One Shilling each, 

Hoaryhead and the Valleys 

Below. By Jacob Abuotx. 

A Home Book for Children 

of all Ages. ^ the Rev. X Oao£, 
PIGC^, E.A. With a Frontispiece, 
Fourth Thousand. 

Ninepence each. 

The Hatural History of the 

Tear. ByB.B.WoonwAuu^Esq.jB.A,, 
F.B.A., liibrariau to the Queen. 

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By the Rev. A. Flstcheu, D.D. 
E^bth Edition. 

ThelrishScholar; or, Popery 

and Fxotestant Christianity . A Nar- 
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Fifth Ediwon. 

“They that Sow in Tears 

shall Resp in Joy/* A Story for the 
Young, IVom the German of Hosb"- 
iiA3f, With FroutiSpiece, 

Eich and Poor. Translated 

the German of Fbaitz Hovfmah, 


''Well printed, prettily bound, and remarkably cheap pubheatiosQa/’ — Evan* 
g«Utal 


JackBon^ Walford^ and Ilodders Puhlicatwmn 15 


THE MOTHERS’ FRIEND. 

A Magazine suitable for oirculation amon^ the Working Classes^ to vrhom it ie more 
partacularly addressed. The attention of Tract Distributors! City MisgionarieS! and 
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The Monthly circolGitioir fpiiee One Fenny) has already reached 21,000. 

Tki Yolitmejhr 186tj price la. Qd,, cloth Hrupt 
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FOR GENERAL CIRCULATION. 

Principles to Start with : a Word to Tonng Men. By 

Isjuo Watts, D-D, With Preface by Rev. T, Bustitey. Price M,, gilt edges. 

Jesus Only. A Guide to the Anxious and a Oompauiou 

to the Sick Chamber and the Dyin^ Bed. By the Ect. J* Obw^lp JjLCEsoif, 
Cheap Edition, Fourth Thousand, price Gd., limp coTera. 

** A plain practical eipoaition of the way of salYation/*— School TsacAer^e 

2£a^aziiie. 

The Easy Text-Book for Young People. By E. M. V. 

Price Bd., cloth limp, red edges^ 

Secret Prayer. By Ee¥. 0. Stanford, Author of “ Central 

Truths/^ Tenth Thousand, price 2s. per dozen. 

By the same Author, 

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Als 0 ! by tho same Author, 

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Where shall I be 100 Years hence P By J. Metcalfe 

White, B.A, T hir tieth Thonsahd, price 2a. per dcfzen. 

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Imputed Eighteonsness. By the Eev. Edward Steane, 

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By the seme Author, 

The Great Transaction. Cheap Edition, Is. 6d. per doz. 

A so, by the same Author, 

Prayer the Christian’s Belief in Trouble. In 32mo., 

price 6d., doth limp, 

A Catechism of Christian Eridenoes, Truths, and Buties. 

By the Eev. W, WALroEU, Author of “ Cures Bomflnse,” Ac., Ao. In ISmO-! price 
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Directions to Persons just commencing a Eeligious Life. 

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16 Jackson^ Walfordy and Hodders Publimtums. 

New Illustrated Magazine for Young People. 

PRICE THREEPENCE MONTHLY, 

BeautiflUl^ Illustrated and printed on Toned Paper, 

Wlii, 

EDITED BY OLD MERRY. 

** Merry and Wise” was commenced in January, 1865, with the 
intention of providing for Boys and Girls a genial and intelligent 
companion for 

EVENINGS AT HOME, 

SPARE HOURS AT SCHOOL, AND 
LEISURE TIME ON SUNDAY. 

Its Contents are varied in character — including Tales, Grave and 
Gay, Sketches of Boy-Iife and Girl-Life, Adventures, Travels, Bio- 
graphies, Poetry, Music, &c., besides subjects of a more exclusively 
religious tendency. 

A Coloured Engraving is issued in the January and July Numbers. 

EXTRACTS PROM REVIEWS, &o. 

** Merry and Wise is a most and tmthftil title for this Magazine for Yoimg 

People, edited by ‘Old Merry.* T^e Magazine is divided into two parts; the first 
p^ for general reading, and the second more particularly adapted for Sunday 
perusal. Among the contributors wo notice the names of • Old Merry,* Mrs. Webb, 
Edwin Hodder, and other favourite writers for the young. We cordially commend 
it to parents as one of the best and most suitable Magazines we know to put into the 
hMi dk of elder children, both boys and girls.” — Weekly Review. 

“Eminently calculated to amuse and instruct young folks.** — St. Janes* » 
Chronicle. 

“ Has our hearty good wishes for its success.”— PicWu? Opinion. 

“Answers perfectly and delightfiiUy to its title.” — Noncoi\formist. 

“ A new thi^penny Magazine for young people, very prettily illustrated, and one 
that Christian fhmilios should welcome to their homes, assured that right principles 
will pervade all its articles.” — Christian World. 

A very cheap and very prettily got-up and well-written Magazine.’*— Cowri 
Circular. 

“The young may always be sure of instruction and amusement from ‘Old 
Merry,* and the publication before us will sustain his well-earned reputation,” — 
JSoanaelical Magazine. 

*'^Mepy and Wise is what its second title declares it to be, * A Magazine for Young 
People,* in which mirth is suflOlciently blended with gravity to m^e it attractive, 
and at the same time instructive.** — Churchman. 

“ A remarkably nice Magazine for the yoimg of both sexes. All the articles are 
interesting, and the moral tone is high.**— Museum. 

TWO COPIES, POST FREE, FOR SIX STAMPS. 


LONDON: JACKSON, WALFORD, AND HODDER, 

27, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.O. 



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